Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 39, no. 7 (May 2007), p. 3

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3. Marine News - cont'd . Ruston engines with four new Caterpillar diesels. The work this past winter cost some $6 million, while $4 million in work was done the previous winter. Sea trials were run on Lake Huron on April 26 and 27 and the ferry went back on her normal run on May 4. She should be good for many more years of service on the essential route she operates. It was announced on April 16 that Algoma Steel Inc. and Essar Global Ltd., through a wholly owned subsidiary, Essar Steel Holdings Limited, had signed a definitive agreement providing for Essar to acquire all of the common shares of Algoma for $56 Canadian per share - some $1. 85 billion in total - payable in cash. The chairman of Algoma's board of directors stated that the board unanimously supported the Essar proposal, and a meeting of Algoma shareholders will be held in June to consider the matter. Acceptance is recommended by the board and is likely to occur, following which the acquisition would be completed. Essar is said to be committed to maintaining and investing in the Algoma steel production facili­ ties and says it is "impressed with Algoma's management team and employees" and wishes "to support growth and business sustainability". Speaking of the Soo, we should mention that the Purvis Marine Ltd. craneship YANKCANUCK (ii), which had been idle there, has been reactivated. She ran trials on May 1, and on May 2 loaded at Algoma Steel. She then set out for the east coast, where Purvis has a contract for her for the season. YANKCANUCK was built at Collingwood in 1963, but has seen only spo­ radic service in recent years. A very unusual accident occurred on the Welland Canal on April 29. While a ship was being raised in Lock 6, a valve malfunctioned and caused a sudden and unexpected release of water into the still-raised Lock 5. The water spilled out of the lock and washed out an adjacent section of the roadway that runs along the west side of the flight locks. The west side of the flight locks was closed until valve damage could be assessed and repaired, and with little traffic in the canal, all vessel traffic could be handled through the east side of the flight locks. Meanwhile, the roadway was closed between Glendale Avenue and the head of Lock 7 for about a week. We cannot recall another similar incident. * * * * * FOLLOW-UPS Since we ran KEARSARGE, FORDONIAN and SAMUEL F. B. MORSE as Ships of the Month, certain additional information has come forward on all three of them. The one that has attracted the most attention amongst the members has been FORDONIAN/YUKONDOC/GEORGIAN, and the many questions about changes to her diesel machinery during the course of her life. There is far too much mate­ rial on that to be dealt with here and it will have to wait for a subsequent issue - particularly as there still are some questions to be answered. But, thanks to member Bill Schell, we can give more information on when FOR­ DONIAN actually made the crossing and entered the lakes. The "New York Mari­ time Register" shows that FORDONIAN sailed from Greenock, Scotland, on May 15, 1913. (Remember that she was supposed to have been in service in 1912. ) She stopped at Sydney, Nova Scotia, probably to load coal, sailing from there on June 6 and arriving at Quebec City on June 10. She was listed as inbound for Montreal, but that is the last movement reported. The name of her master for the delivery trip was given as "McPhael". We still do not know the actual date of her arrival on the lakes, but we assume that it was during June of 1913. Now, in respect of the MORSE, or WYCHEM 105 as she then was known, we have a small correction to make. We stated that after her barge service for Wyandotte Chemicals proved to be a non-starter, she was used by Meritt, Chap­ man & Scott as a breakwater during construction of a water intake off Bay Village, Ohio. We stated that it was the "Clegg Road" intake, but member A l Hart, a resident of Bay Village, informs us that the correct name of the street is Clague Road. We regret the mis-spelling.

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