The first ship on the scene after the Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a 1975 Lake Superior storm is expected to return to service.
The Arthur M. Anderson, a 767-foot-long laker, has been docked in long-term layup at Canadian National Dock 6 in western Duluth since January 2017, but will likely be moved to Fraser Shipyards late Tuesday morning where it is scheduled for a drydocking and a five-year survey later this month, Mitch Koslow, vice president of Key Lakes Inc., told the News Tribune Monday. The Anderson is part of Canadian National Railway's Great Lakes Fleet, which is operated by Key Lakes.
Koslow said since the economy has improved and the amount of cargo booked by the company is high, the ship is needed.
"It's all about commercial and market conditions," Koslow said. "Things have improved to the point where we can use (the Anderson) to meet the needs of our customers."
But Koslow said that after the Anderson's 2016 shipping season "market conditions were soft" and its certificates were expiring, which meant it required a drydocking and five-year inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping.
"That's a large expenditure and the conditions didn't warrant that expense at the time," Koslow said.
But now, the company is willing to go through that process and make any of the necessary repairs for the Anderson to return to service.
Koslow did not have a specific timeline on when the ship might move cargo again.
The Anderson had been trailing the Fitzgerald through the Nov. 10, 1975 storm and received Capt. Ernest McSorley's final radio call before he and 28 others went down with the Fitzgerald: "We are holding our own."