The Mark W. Barker, a salt freighter, became aground in the Detroit River on Wednesday. She was 650 feet long. Witnesses to the chaos near Belle Isle state park expressed fear. Freighters in the river hardly never dock. How the park felt about the freighter showing up out of the blue was unclear.
At 8 a.m., the ship reportedly stopped moving due to an equipment failure and became stuck in the sand and muck. Within minutes, the US Coast Guard had arrived to reassure the public that the region was once again safe for boat traffic.
A tugboat was able to liberate the cargo by lunchtime, so there was no need for urgent alarm. There were no reported injuries. In order to complete inspections, the ship must remain in the river. The US Coast Guard said that it was the best possible outcome given the circumstances. Our Coast Guard station on Belle Isle was nearby.