What Happened To The ‘Lake Superior’ Tugboat That Was Sinking Into Duluth’s Harbor?
Back in March of this year, the 'Lake Superior' Tugboat made waves all over when it was sinking into the Duluth Harbor. Whatever happened to it?
The picture of the sinking tugboat went viral and it was the talk of the town. The tug also had quite the life according to for sale post. It was built in 1943 by Tampa Marine Corp. as the Major Emil H. Block (LT-18) for the U.S. Army. The tug was then transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1950 and renamed Lake Superior. Around 1995 the tug was retired from service and acquired by the Duluth Entertainment & Convention Center of Duluth, Minnesota where it was used as a floating museum starting in 1996. In 2007 the tug was sold to Billington Contracting of Duluth, but it has remained inactive and was enjoying retirement in Duluth.
According to the Star Tribune (paywall), U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Joseph McGinnis stated that a hole developed in the ballast tank which likely caused the sinking. If you don't know what a ballast tank is, its a compartment within a floating structure that holds water, which is used as ballast to provide hydrostatic stability for a vessel, to reduce or control buoyancy.
When it was listed for sale, it had a hefty price tag of $55,000. It sounds like the current owner was hoping they could have turned it into a bed and breakfast. I think a bed and breakfast tugboat would have been sweet. The tug did have a fully furnished gallery and could fit 16 people. The tug was also equipped with a towing wench and 1200 feet of cable.
What is the Lake Superior Tug up to now?
The tug has moved just a little further down the slip and is currently in an upright position.