The 44 meter long, 661 dwt towboat Defiance and the 186 meter long, 42,800 dwt barge Ashtabula ran aground in the Straits of Mackinaw in the Round Island Passage between Mackinac Island and Round Island, Michigan. The vessels departed from Cedarville bound for Buffington, Indiana when the vessels had run aground and became stuck on the clay bottom. The vessels remained stuck for several hours until currents pulled the tug/barge vessels free.
The Coast Guard conducted a flyover the vessels and found no pollution had been released. The vessels proceeded to an anchorage after the grounding. No reports of injuries or pollution released. The Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the incident.
The 140 foot long United States Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay was beset by ice nearby. The Bristol Bay was outside Ashtabula attempting to reach Cleveland to refuel and provision the cutter before heading to help the Anderson. However, the cutter spent several days battling the ice and found itself running low on food. A helicopter was dispatched to drop food to the cutter.
The 234 foot long Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Griffon was requested to assist both vessels. Stationed in Prescott, Ontario, the Griffon was asked to proceed to help free the Bristol Bay and clear a path to Cleveland. Afterwards, the Griffon was to continue to break a path to Conneaut to free the Arthur M. Anderson.