Presque Isle scrapes stone base of Duluth Ship Canal pier

The 1,000-foot Presque Isle struck the base of the Duluth Ship Canal’s north pier shortly after 7 a.m. today. The video above is by Conner Blaukat. The perspective below was shot by Mike Burbul.

Presque isle is French for “almost an island.” The ship is one of the longest on the Great Lakes, and was fully loaded with iron ore pellets at the time of the mishap.

The Duluth News Tribune reports there was no damage to the pier.

Although initial eyewitness reports described the ship as “scrapping” or “colliding” with the north pier, Steven Brossart, Duluth area engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said an initial inspection shows no damage to the pier’s structure.

The inspection did show the ship likely ran aground on the scour stone that runs along the base of the pier where the steel pilings meet the canal bottom. The rocks are placed there to prevent material from washing out from under the structure, Brossart said.

The Presque Isle eventually made it through the canal, anchored outside the harbor, then returned through the canal to the Clure Public Marine Terminal for inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit-Duluth.

Below are scenes from Duluth harbor cameras.

It was just two years ago that another 1,000-footer ran aground in Duluth. M/V American Spirit struck shore just shy of a breakwall near the northwest side of the Aerial Lift Bridge on July 17, 2018.


Paul Lundgren

about 1 year ago

Presque Isle was previously best known in Duluth for its icy New Year's Eve arrival on Dec. 31, 2017.


about 1 year ago

I knew the name of the ship was familiar!  I remember that photo from 2017.  Thanks for posting it.

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