GROUNDING OF THE SS FRONTENAC IN LAKE SUPERIOR, SILVER BAY, MINNESOTA, NOVEMBER 22, 1979. MARINE ACCIDENT REPORT

About 2140 e.s.t., on November 22, 1979, while approaching Silver Bay, Minnesota, the U.S. Great Lakes bulk cargo vessel SS FRONTENAC ran aground during a heavy snow squall on shoals extending from Pellet Island, Minnesota. The use the vessel's engine, rudder, and bow thruster to free the vessel was insufficient to overcome the effects of the wind and sea. Wind and sea actions held the vessel on the shoals and eventually caused the vessel to swing around to the left while pivoting near the midship section of the hull. The vessel sustained heavy damage to the underwater hull and keel. The No. 3 cargo hold was punctured, resulting in flooding of the hold with some progressive flooding into the No. 2 cargo hold and heavy flooding into the No. 4 cargo hold. The FRONTENAC was declared a constructive total loss since the estimated repair cost exceeded the value of the vessel. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the master's failure to: accurately determine his vessel's position and course made good; adequately compensate for the effects of wind and sea near a hazardous lee shore; effectively use an available navigational aid; and use his personnel effectively to assist him in navigating the vessel. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the Reserve Mining Company to maintain Pellet Island Navigational light in operation during the entire navigation season.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20594
  • Publication Date: 1980-9

Media Info

  • Pagination: 31 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00322755
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-MAR-80-13
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 29 1980 12:00AM