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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Grounding of Freighter Roger Blough

Executive Summary

​At 1312 local time on May 27, 2016, the US-flagged lake freighter (laker) Roger Blough ran aground near the Gros Cap Reefs Light off Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada. The grounding occurred as the vessel entered the Birch Point Course section of the St. Marys River federal navigation channel from Whitefish Bay in eastern Lake Superior. There were no injuries and no pollution reported. The vessel sustained $4.5 million in damage to its hull and cargo system.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the grounding of the lake freighter Roger Blough was the second mate’s failure to use all navigational resources to determine the ship’s position as it approached shallow water near Gros Cap Reefs. Contributing to the accident was inadequate monitoring of the vessel by Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) St. Marys River.

Accident Location: Sault Sainte Marie , Ontario Canada Gros Cap Reefs; 46° 30.8’ N, 084° 37.2’ W
Accident Date: 5/27/2016
Accident ID: DCA16FM040

Date Adopted: 7/6/2017
NTSB Number: MAB1725
NTIS Number:  

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