The 640-foot-long, self-loading, Roy A. Jodrey, a Canadian registery freighter loaded with lron ore sank in about 150 to 200 feet of water in the St. Lawrence River today. The vessel went down within view of the Coast Guard Station at Alexandria Bay shortly after 3 a.m.
The master and 29 of his crew members abandoned ship shortly after It went aground on Pullman Shoal, after ramming a buoy or a navigation aid light. The collision lore a hole Ii' the ship's bow structure at 10:33 p.m. Wednesday.
The ship took on water quickly and began to list. None of the crew of the vessel were hurt In escaping to safety.
St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. officials said that they did not expect that the sinking of the Algoma Central Railway owned vessel from Ste. Marie, Ont., would create any stoppage or hazard to shipping due to the depth of the water.
However. because the vessel is a self loading freighter, its superstructure is greater than the average ship. This could create a problem.
After the ship struck an aid and then a rock ledge, the vessel took on water rapidly. Every effort to rush pump aid to the vessel was made and the ship's pumps were pressed into service but the hole in the bow was too large.
The tug McAllister from Kingston, Ont.. arrive on the scene around 4:30 a.m. today. It is equipped with heavy duty pumps and could have handled pumping operations according to preliminary estimates. The Canadian
Ice breaker Griffin was also dispatched to the scene and the American Seaway Corp., tug Robinson Bay was sent.
The Roy A. Jodrey was upbound at the time of the accident and wound up on the north side of the shipping channel. The seaway shipping channel is normally 400 feet wide and 30 feet deep at the minimum.
When the Canadian freighter sank, it cut a Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.. submarine cable cutting off power to the Coast Guard station.
Oil booms for sweeping the water for any possible oil spillage were also being rushed to the scene.
Traffic was suspended in the area after the freighter ran aground and the suspension was expected to continue today to allow Coast Guard officials to determine what should be done with the sunken freighter.
Visibility was listed at four miles and the wind was calm at the time. Although it was raining when the freighter ran aground, Coast Guard officials said weather conditions were not a factor in the mishap.
The freighter was owned by the Algoma Central Railway of Sault Ste Marie, Ont., the Seaway dispatcher said. It sank In the northern section of the shipping channel off the Pullman Shoal.
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