Famous Arthur M. Anderson Finally Reaches Wisconsin
After a nearly month-long struggle across three different iced-over Great Lakes, the well-known Arthur M. Anderson freighter finally entered winter lay-up in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on Wednesday morning. The vessel left Indiana on February 6th and was traveling to Ohio to pick up iron ore powder when the Anderson got caught in ice fields seven miles northwest of its destination. The ship was stuck in Lake Erie ice for five days, with 24 people aboard.
The Arthur M. Anderson was finally freed on February 21st by a Canadian Coast Guard ice cutter that cleared a path through 10 feet of ice. Bristol Bay, the first Coast Guard cutter sent to help the Anderson, also ran into trouble with the ice before it made it to the Anderson and was assisted back to Cleveland by Coast Guard’s the Griffon. The Griffon then went back to help the Anderson free itself from the jagged ice.
The ship’s owner, Great Lakes Fleet, ordered the Anderson back to Wisconsin for winter lay-up. Six U.S. and Canadian cutters aided the ship along the 600-mile trip to Sturgeon Bay. The Anderson arrived at the Bay on Wednesday with empty holds.
The Anderson is the last vessel to make port during this winter season, which has equaled that of the 2013 and 2014 winter seasons in deep freezes. The final lay-ups occur merely weeks before the spring “break-out” period begins, which opens on March 25.
The Arthur M. Anderson is best known for its role in the Edmund Fitzgerald sinking in 1975, as the Anderson was the last ship to have radio contact with the Fitzgerald. The Fitzgerald, an American Great Lakes freighter, sank suddenly during a severe winter storm on Lake Superior, and the cause of the sinking still remains a mystery. The Fitzgerald sinking has become one of the most well-known disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping.