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Disabled ship freed; shipping resumes on St. Lawrence Seaway

Robert Fratangelo
U.S. Coast Guard Auxillery
The 656-foot Federal Kivalina blocked traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway for two days after it ran aground.

The St. Lawrence Seaway is back open to commercial shipping traffic after a section of it was closed for two days because of a disabled vessel.

The 656-foot Federal Kivalina had been blocking traffic through the 'American Narrows' section of the waterway since Tuesday afternoon, when it ran aground near Collins Landing, New York.

Seventeen ships were stalled while the Kivalina sat disabled, according to the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

The U.S. Coast Guard says a salvage team removed the Kivalina Thursday evening and traffic resumed around 7:30 p.m.

The Kivalina was carrying 23,000 tons of canola seeds to Montreal when it lost its steering shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday just up river from the Thousand islands Bridge, which carries Interstate 81 over the St. Lawrence River. It dropped three anchors to avoid hitting the bridge before running aground. 

What caused the vessel to loose steering is still under investigation. None of the 22 crew members were injured and there was no environmental damage, the coast guard reported.