Freighter docked in Saginaw River, current too strong - WNEM TV 5

Freighter docked in Saginaw River, current too strong

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A Great Lakes freighter is on an extended stay in Mid-Michigan.

Mother Nature has forced the captain and crew of the ship to stick around for a week.

"Usually they're in and out and they do their job and they get going," said Bruce Ervin of Ervin Trucking.

Ervin has seen a lot of Great Lakes freighters over the years. He loads up on rock products the big boats drop off at Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City.

He understands why the Lewis J. Kuber is imprisoned at the dock. The Saginaw River current is too strong for the mighty ship.

"The water is not right for them, so they're doing the best thing," Ervin said.

Recent storms have swollen the river, which has forced the Kuber to be a prisoner along with its tug boat near the Independence Bridge. 

On the other side of the bridge is the U.S.S. Edson. Mike Kegley is one of the operators of the tourist attraction and he's watched the Kuber sit idly nearby.

"We like to see them come," Kegley said.

Kegley said there's one basic reason why the boat doesn't want to chance going out in the strong current.

"Once he gets into that current and he is sideways in the river, it could take him into the bridge depending on which way the current's going. That happened several years ago where a ship tried to turn around in the current and he didn't make it, he went into the bridge," Kegley said.

Meanwhile, Ervin loves seeing freighters hang around Mid-Michigan.

"I just go into dreamland, you know, wish I was on it basically or something like that. I'm not really a boat person, but I enjoy seeing nice things," Ervin said.

The Lewis J. Kuber is an Ohio-based freighter. 

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