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Freighter trapped in Lake Superior after storm compresses ice along U.P. shore

Apr 21, 2018 09:07AM ● Published by Editor

Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service

By Tanda Gmiter of Mlive,com - April 19, 2018  tgmiter@mlive.com

MARQUETTE, MI - The gale-force winds of last weekend's storm might be over on Lake Superior, but some Great Lakes freighters are still dealing with the consequences.

The freighter Kaye E. Barker became trapped in the compressed ice near Marquette on Wednesday as she was trying to reach the area's lower harbor, the National Weather Service said. A U.S. Coast Guard cutter was sent to break the ice and free the ship today.

Recent winds have blown Lake Superior's ice tightly against the Upper Peninsula shoreline.

"Strong winds and high waves from the early week storm compressed the remaining ice cover between Marquette and Whitefish Bay," the NWS said. The agency shared a satellite image which shows the iced-in condition of the bay.

The Barker, a 767-foot cargo carrier, was still sitting motionless early today, with the ship-tracking Marine Traffic website showing her at 0.0 knots. It also showed the mighty icebreaker Mackinaw nearby.

The Barker, built in 1952, is owned by the Interlake Steamship Company.

She was the first Great Lakes ship to be built completely at dry dock, according to Boatnerd.com.

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