Mark W. Barker, Newest Great Lakes Ship Since 1983, Runs Aground

The Barker hit the water in the summer of 2022 and made its first visit to Duluth in September

The Mark W. Barker, the first U.S. ship built last year on the Great Lakes since 1983, ran soft aground early Wednesday in the Detroit River after the freighter lost propulsion.

The 639-foot vessel, which was built to navigate tight ends, suffered an “electronics malfunction” near Belle Isle around 8 a.m., according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Nobody was injured. There was no damage to the freighter and there were no signs of any discharge, according to the Coast Guard.

Officials said the Barker was carrying 2,100 metric tons of salt at the time and 105,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

The vessel is owned by Interlake Steamship Company.  It was refloated at around 12 p.m. with the help of commercial towing.

The Barker will be anchored to Belle Isle so Coast Guard investigators can assess the ship, make repairs and ensure it’s ready to resume voyage.

The Coast Guard released the following statement Wednesday:

“We worked closely with all relevant parties to ensure the safety of our waterways and the prompt resolution of this incident. The successful refloating of the Mark W. Barker highlights our commitment to maintaining the safety and continuity of our maritime transportation system.”

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