Chem Norma freed from St. Lawrence River bottom

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MORRISBURG, Ontario — The Chem Norma is free. The tanker ship that ran aground Tuesday morning was yanked from the grip of the St. Lawrence River bottom just before 4 p.m. Sunday.

Three tug boats — the Ocean Tundra, the Ocean K. Rusby and the Ocean Pierre Julien — worked together with a rising river throughout the day to unloose the stuck ship.

Late Saturday, the International Joint Commission took the step of slowing outflow on the river to temporarily raise water levels to aid in the release of the ship.

The Chem Norma was en route to Sarnia, Ontario, on Lake Huron Tuesday morning when it lost steering and ran aground on a submerged berm that was once part of a canal system.

Two smaller tugs worked on freeing the boat throughout the week before being joined by the Ocean Tundra, Canada’s most powerful tug boat, Saturday afternoon.

The Chem Norma is a double-hulled tanker and is transporting a refined petroleum product.

Early Sunday evening, the ship was at anchor not far from where it ran aground, according to Marinewatch.com.

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