Interlake Steamship Company launches 2018 sailing season
The Interlake Steamship Company’s Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder, an articulated tug-barge, departed winter layup February 24 to begin early-season shuttles of iron ore for ArcelorMittal, a leading integrated steel and mining company with blast furnaces at the head of the Cuyahoga River.
A workhorse of Interlake’s nine-vessel fleet, the 700-foot Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder is one of Interlake’s two River Class vessels, a designation given to ships that can traverse the narrowest harbors of the Great Lakes.
“We are excited to kick off our 2018 navigation season with one of the longest River Class vessels capable of transiting the winding Cuyahoga River,” said Brendan O’Connor, Interlake’s Vice President of Marketing and Marine Traffic. “With its unique Z-drive (360-degree) propulsion systems, the Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder is the most maneuverable vessel in the U.S. Great Lakes fleet.”
While the Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder gets underway, the eight other vessels in the Interlake fleet remain at lay-up docks and shipyards around the Great Lakes for a few more weeks, in the final stages of more than $20 million worth of winter work projects. Project highlights include extensive steel renewal, dry dock inspections and an exhaust gas scrubber installation on the longest ship on the Great Lakes, the 1,013.5-foot M/V Paul R. Tregurtha.
Propelled by a long-term vision to create the most efficient and environmentally friendly responsible fleet on the Great Lakes, Interlake committed to an Emission Reduction Program in 2015 to outfit more than half of its fleet with freshwater scrubbers. The Tregurtha retrofit represents the final phase of that program and will become the fifth vessel in the fleet to discharge a signature steam plume when she sails later this spring.