Ship runs aground near Hamilton Island

SUMMERSTOWN – A large cargo ship has run aground, blocking most of the St. Lawrence Seaway channel, according to witnesses.

Area residents, who were at their cottage, recall noticing the Canada Steamship Lines Whitefish Bay was off course before it dropped all its anchors around 5:30 p.m.

According to eyewitness accounts, the ship hit the rocks and the river bottom and then the captain tried unsuccessfully to turn the ship around.

The CSL bulk carrier carries 24,430 metric tons of cargo.

According to, the CSL Whitefish Bay had left a port in St. Catharines yesterday (Jul 11) and was supposed to arrive in Bathurst, N.B. on Thursday.

The Whitefish Bay’s home port is Montreal.

The ship is 24 meters (79 feet) wide and 225 meters (738 feet) long.

A spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board told Cornwall Newswatch it has been notified of the grounding and they are gathering information.

As of 9:20 p.m., the TSB had not made a decision on whether to deploy a team to the area.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokesman Carol Launderville told CNW there were no injuries or observed pollution from the grounded ship.

“The Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada and our American partners are responding quickly and operationally,” she said.