Interlake Steamship Company's 639' lake freighter Mark W. Barker, which ran aground in the Detroit River last week due to an electronics malfunction, was successfully refloated on May 17 with the help of a commercial towing company.
Coast Guard Sector Detroit responded to the incident after the ship lost propulsion and grounded near Belle Isle's south side. There were no immediate threats to people or the environment. Mariners were advised to avoid the area but could continue navigating the river. The Mark W. Barker, carrying about 21,000 metric tons of salt and 105,000 gals. of diesel fuel, remained stable throughout the incident without any pollution or hull damage.
"We collaborated closely with all involved parties to ensure the safety of our waterways and a swift resolution," said Lt. j.g. Adeeb Ahmad, Sector Detroit's public affairs officer. "The successful refloating of the Mark W. Barker demonstrates our commitment to maintaining a secure and uninterrupted maritime transportation system."
The Coast Guard worked closely with Interlake, along with port partners and the Canadian Coast Guard, to develop and execute the refloating plan. The ship was towed to the Belle Isle anchorage, where Coast Guard investigators will assess any damages and ensure necessary repairs are completed before the vessel continues its voyage.