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2018 St. Lawrence Seaway season opens March 29

2018-02-21

 

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Following an extended season and early opening last year, the bi-national St. Lawrence Seaway's 2018 season will kick off at 0800 hours on March 29 at both the Welland Canal and Montreal/Lake Ontario sections, a Notice of Navigation announced. The 2017 season began early on March 20 but closed on January 11, rather than late December, as a result of a sustained blast of Arctic air from the last days of December into January.

The waterway which allows ocean vessels to penetrate deep into the industrial heartland of North America recorded a 9% increase in traffic in 2017 to more than 38 million metric tons, with a rebound in iron ore tonnage leading the way.

Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Restrictions may apply in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed. Sault Ste. Marie Locks and Canals Opening of the Sault Ste. Marie Locks (U.S.A.) is currently scheduled for March 25, 2018. Please note the Notice to Navigation Interests released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for further information.

Allowable Drafts

 

In the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section, the maximum allowable draft will be 80.0 dm (26' 3") until the South Shore Canal is ice-free or April 15th, whichever occurs first, at which time, if water levels are favorable, the maximum draft will be increased to 80.8 dm (26' 6") for all vessels. Mariners are reminded that for ships loaded to a draft greater than 80.0 dm (26' 3"), speeds will be monitored carefully between St. Lambert Lock and St. Nicolas Island.

In the Welland Canal, a maximum allowable draft of 80.8 dm (26' 6") will be in effect from the start of the navigation season for all vessels. Please note that, for vessels loaded to a draft greater than 80.0 dm (26' 3"), speeds will be monitored carefully between the upper entrance to Lock 7 and former Bridge 12 in order to reduce bank erosion in this area. Vessels equipped with an approved and operational draft information system will be permitted to transit at a draft of up to 7cm above the maximum allowable draft.

There will be zero tolerance for vessels to transit at drafts in excess of those specified in this Notice. (Photo Paul Beesley)

 
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