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Ship loses steering near Thousand Islands Bridge

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COLLINS LANDING — Shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway in the area of the American Narrows has been halted temporarily after a ship lost its steering and had to anchor near the Thousand Islands Bridge.

Nancy T. Alcalde, spokeswoman for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., said the downbound Federal Kivalina reported losing its steering at 1:47 p.m. Tuesday, causing it to drop anchor about a third of a mile from the bridge. The ship was not grounded, she said, and the bridge remained open.

Witnesses at the scene said the ship dropped the bow anchors while approaching the bridge, allowing the ship to perform a 180-degree turn, thus preventing it from traveling downriver and risking collision with the bridge.

Ms. Alcalde said no pollution was being released into the river and no one was injured. The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards were en route to the scene Tuesday afternoon, with the U.S. Coast Guard leading the investigation into the incident.

A tugboat operated by Abaco Marine, Clayton, went to the scene soon after the incident, but returned to Clayton pending a plan for the ship’s removal.

The 656-foot ship, bearing a Hong Kong flag, is carrying canola meal, Ms. Alcalde said.

Seaway traffic remained stopped Tuesday night, said Michael J. Folsom, director of marketing and communications at the Antique Boat Museum, Clayton, and operator of www.theshipwatcher.com. He said ships are anchored near Carleton Island, as well as near Prescott, Ontario.

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