UPDATE: Several factors could have contributed to Green Bay ship accident

GREEN BAY, Wis. - UPDATE: A ship does damage in Downtown Green Bay on its back way up the Fox River yesterday, first hitting Green Bay City Deck, capsizing a docked boat.  The bulk carrier then continued to run into the Ray Nitschke Memorial Bridge, and left it closed for hours.

According to the Port of Green Bay, The Kaye E. Barker is no stranger to these waters, making stops in Green Bay to deliver limestone, salt, and this time, coal.  However, on Sunday it did have some extra environmental factors to deal with.
 
Aside from the normal obstacles like bridges, recreational boaters, and the channel, the captain was dealing with high water from the recent rain storms.  That means the Fox River's flow rate is three or four times faster than what's considered normal.  Plus, the winds at the time were blowing in the opposite way of the current which may have added another challenge while trying to maneuver with the bow thruster.
 
The Director of the Port of Green Bay, Dean Haen, says this type of scenario is not common and as of now, no mechanical issues were reported with the ship.
 
"A bow thruster is always used in that area," said Haen. "The one thing that probably hasn't happened was the high water, the high flow and the fact that those usually happen in April, May, and no one's down recreating on the Fox River."
 
The U.S. Coast Guard says this is an ongoing investigation, and could take weeks to find out what exactly happened.
 

----------------------------------------

Green Bay police report that the Main St. Bridge is reopened after being struck by a bulk carrier.

The bridge was closed after being struck by the bulk carrier, Kaye E. Barker, a vessel owned by the Interlake Steamship Company.

The vessel, built in 1952, also crushed a small boat prior to hitting the bridge.

Kaye E. Barker was built by the American Shipbuilding Company in Toledo.

It was originally named Edward B Greene and was the flagship of the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company fleet.

The ship was lengthened with the addition of a 120-foot midbody section at Fraser Shipyards Inc, Superior Wisconsin, in 1976.

Then in 1981, American Ship Building Company of Toledo converted her into a self-unloader. 

The vessel joined the Rouge Steel Company fleet and was renamed Benson Ford in 1985.

After joining the Interlake Steamship Company in 1989, she became Kaye E. Barker, honoring the wife of Interlake's Chairman of the Board and President.

In 2012, the Kaye E. Barker was repowered at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

----------------------------------------

The Ray Nitschke Memorial Bridge, also called the Main St. Bridge, is closed for an unknown amount of time after struck by a large vessel.

The Kaye E. Barker, a Great Lakes bulk carrier, is reported to have struck the bridge around 3:25 PM.

Witnesses say prior to striking the bridge, the large vessel collided with smaller boats, causing them to capsize.

Local Five has a team on the scene to gather more details, as well as video for tonight's 10 PM newscast.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Veterans Day Salutes
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Tundraland Free Bath Makeover 2017
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Home for the Holidays 2017
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Storm Team 5 Skyview Network
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Burkes Big Bucks 2017
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News