Port open

An aerial overview of the Port of Thunder Bay facilities. Grain leaving the port is among the early cargo shipments of the new navigation season.

This year’s shipping season opened on Thursday with the arrival of a tug and barge, a first for Thunder Bay’s port.

The Tug Sharon M1 arrived at the Mission Pier entrance of the Port of Thunder Bay at 9:30 p.m.

The vessel, owned by McKeil Marine, a Burlington-based company, unloaded around 5,000 metric tonnes of calcium chloride brine solution at Pollard Highway Products on the Kaministiquia River.

The solution is used as a road stabilizer and dust suppressant in the Thunder Bay region.

This is the first time McKeil has received the honour of the top hat, which is given to the captain of the first vessel to arrive in the port for the shipping season.

The top hat usually goes to a bulk vessel carrying grain and the bulker Algoma Sault narrowly missed the honour, arriving in the city’s port a few hours after the Sharon M1.

Accepting the top hat honours were Capt. Ray Davis and chief engineer Vladimir Lats.

The usual ceremony that takes place wasn’t held this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Originally published March 28, 2020)

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