The Paul R. Tregurtha of The Interlake Steamship Company ran aground in the mud just off the shore of Bayfront Festival Park around 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, September 20, 2014. With a full load of coal (68,000+ tons!), it was on its way out of the harbor to the Aerial Lift Bridge when it failed to navigate the turn toward the bridge. The cause is under investigation.
The Great Lakes Towing Company tugboats Kentucky and Minnesota teamed up at the bow and stern to free the “thousand footer” from the mud just off shore. The Tregurtha was freed at 7:00 p.m. and proceeded to undergo an inspection.
At 1013.5 feet, the Paul R. Tregurtha is the longest ship to navigate the waters of Lake Superior and is a favorite of many boat watchers in the Duluth Harbor and the shipping canal.