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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 31, 2017, 3:48 pm 
Up North George wrote:
guest wrote:
Thank you to everyone who responded to this request. Your replies are most helpful.
I am still trying to find out if a ship pulled up an electric cable in the 90's. Does anyone know where an accident like that would be published? Would the Coast Guard keep these kind of records?
From what I understand, the exact location of the pipeline is not marked because there is a fear of terrorism. I read that pipelines are visible in Google Earth but I looked on Google Maps and the that area through the Straits is darkened, perhaps for reasons of security.
Thanks for your help.

Yes there was an anchor dragged across the cable for Beaver Island at one time, name forgotten.


That was a cement barge lost by a Canonie tug that broke the Beaver Island cable.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 26, 2017, 6:38 pm 
guest wrote:
Thank you to everyone who responded to this request. Your replies are most helpful.
I am still trying to find out if a ship pulled up an electric cable in the 90's. Does anyone know where an accident like that would be published? Would the Coast Guard keep these kind of records?
From what I understand, the exact location of the pipeline is not marked because there is a fear of terrorism. I read that pipelines are visible in Google Earth but I looked on Google Maps and the that area through the Straits is darkened, perhaps for reasons of security.
Thanks for your help.

Yes there was an anchor dragged across the cable for Beaver Island at one time, name forgotten.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 21, 2017, 7:08 am 
My charts both pipelines and cables crosss the strait. They start just west of the bridge. The last one is 2 NM west of bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 20, 2017, 4:16 pm 
Thank you to everyone who responded to this request. Your replies are most helpful.
I am still trying to find out if a ship pulled up an electric cable in the 90's. Does anyone know where an accident like that would be published? Would the Coast Guard keep these kind of records?
From what I understand, the exact location of the pipeline is not marked because there is a fear of terrorism. I read that pipelines are visible in Google Earth but I looked on Google Maps and the that area through the Straits is darkened, perhaps for reasons of security.
Thanks for your help.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 9, 2017, 7:10 am 
My electronic chart shows many pipeline and cables crossing the strait. The bridge is shown in a cauationary area but cables and pipeline are 2 miles west of the cautionary are with no additional notation other then thier presents.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 8, 2017, 10:29 am 

Joined: June 23, 2010, 6:18 am
Posts: 71
There is (or was) an old day mark on the north shore for at least one power cable, but nothing in particular on the south shore. Still, there are landmarks that help to identify where the cables and pipelines come up.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 8, 2017, 7:36 am 
I do know in most river /canal systems pipelines are definitely marked with signage as not to anchor dredge ect. The signage is very visible they are underground cable signage also. I'm not sure of all underwater obstructions on land. I would believe the major "active" ones are posted.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 7, 2017, 10:07 pm 

Joined: December 7, 2014, 9:33 am
Posts: 162
Are the cable and pipeline crossings marked with signs on the land as well? I know they usually are in rivers, but not sure about a larger body of water like the Straits.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 7, 2017, 3:16 pm 
Ships anchor in the straits all the time. There are known areas that are good anchorage for different directions of winds. Pipelines cables ect. are marked on the charts. It would have to be an emergency that someone dropped the hook where they shouldn't. Generally you anchor in shallower protected waters than where the pipeline is. This has been a big topic , but there are pipelines and cables all over the great lakes. It is very rare that there ever is an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 7, 2017, 3:10 pm 
Are there areas shown on Marine charts that specifically prohibit anchoring in certain areas? Likewise, doesn't the Detroit River have certain "anchorage" areas for that reason? The Enbridge area of the Straits would be a prime example of a restricted space to anchor per se.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 7, 2017, 2:27 pm 
"The Straights" could be considered to be more than 60 miles long, and yes ships regularly anchor within that 60mi stretch of waters to wait out winds. The pipeline area and cable crossings are all just west of the bridge within one mile and running parallel to the bridge. (see NOAA chart 14880 or 14881). Ships don't anchor anywhere within a few miles of these pipelines to wait out weather. Pipelines and cables cross navigational waters numerous places on the lakes and elsewhere in the world. They are distinctly shown on navigational charts and mariners are aware of their locations. That's part of the pilotage exam.


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 Post subject: Re: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 7, 2017, 1:15 pm 

Joined: June 23, 2010, 6:18 am
Posts: 71
Yes, freighters anchor in the Straits to wait on weather, but not in the area of the pipelines. The electrical cable that was once pulled up was a cable going to Mackinac Island from St Ignace, nowhere near the pipelines. A phone cable was once broken in the same manner. These were done in the old days when captains had to rely on paper charts and their own best guess as to their exact location, and they were taking shelter in the area between St Ignace and the Island. And the foreign ships that caught the cables did not have knowledgeable Great Lakes pilots aboard, as they do today.

Modern navigational equipment includes GPS chart plotters so the ships know precisely where they are when they go to anchor, and the pipelines and cables are clearly marked on the charts. The pipelines are also in the narrowest part of the Straits, and not in the better protected areas for anchoring, so I've never seen a large vessel anchor that close to the bridge.

For many wind directions, vessels anchor off St Ignace and to the north towards Rabbit Back Point, or east of Mackinaw City either near the mainland shore, or close to Bois Blanc Island, depending on wind direction. For strong south winds some vessels anchor west of McGulpin Point along the south shore. We sometimes have vessels hugging the north shore west of St Helena Island, to duck the north winds.

Where they anchor all depends on the ship's intended destination, and the wind forecast. If they choose the right location, they don't need to shift around with a change in wind direction. Otherwise, a vessel might start out anchored in one location, and then decide to move a few miles for better protection as the weather front blows by and the wind direction changes.

Today, the only way a ship could conceivably drop anchor on the pipeline is through incredible incompetence, possibly after a collision or other incident. We have Great Lakes pilots on board all foreign ships, and they know the proper places to anchor and the places to avoid, and they communicate by radio well in advance of passage through these restricted waters, to avoid meeting other ships in the tighter navigational areas.


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 Post subject: Ship anchoring near Enbridge pipeline in Straits
Unread postPosted: August 7, 2017, 10:58 am 

Joined: April 28, 2010, 6:37 pm
Posts: 507
Can anyone answer this question, which I received by email?


I am concerned about the Enbridge Pipeline under the Straits of Mackinaw. I have a friend who has been told by several people that a freighter in the 90’s dropped an anchor near St. Ignace because of either very high winds or because it was heading to shore. When the anchor was pulled up, a dead electric cable came with it. One person was specific enough to say that it was 1993, or very close to that and that it may have been a Japanese Freighter that was headed towards land.
I was also told at a talk that another freighter dropped anchor just this year in the Straits because of high winds this season.
I would love to know if there is truth to these reports.
A recent study of the alternatives to the pipeline, reported that the biggest risk is of an anchor from a freighter hitting the pipeline.

If you know of any incidences or could point me in a direction where I might be able to research this myself, I would be most grateful.


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