Saltie’s crew stranded for weeks off Duluth

If you’ve ever had a desire to work on a “saltie,” the tale of the Cornelia should clear that up. The oceangoing freighter has been anchored off Duluth for weeks, the Duluth News Tribune reports, and it, its cargo, and its crew may soon fall victim to winter.

It’s been a mystery since it left Superior on Nov. 2: Why is a ship anchored off Park Point?

Now, the newspaper reports U.S. officials are negotiating a deal to settle an unspecified violation of U.S. environmental laws by the German-owned ship.

It’s loaded with flour destined for Italy, but it’s not going anywhere even though the shipping route back to the ocean closes in a few weeks.

The crew can see land from their floating prison, but they can’t get there.

Then, there is the human cost for a crew that Yorde said is a diverse mixture of nationalities, hailing from Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Croatia and Phillipines.

The 575-foot-long Cornelia was built in 2000, making it less likely it would be Wi-Fi equipped, said Paulson, who is accustomed to bringing telephones and Wi-Fi hotspots aboard docked foreign vessels so that crewmembers can communicate with their families.

While it took on grain over two days at the CHS elevator in Superior, a number of crewmembers were transported by the Seafarers Center to the mall. They’ve had no such luxury since.

The local Sea Service, which supplies vessels with commodities and commissary items for crewmembers using its telltale blue-and-yellow pilot boat, the Sea Bear, told the News Tribune it has not visited Cornelia.

Paulson explained that while he holds security access for boats docked in the port, he is not allowed to board vessels at anchor out on Lake Superior. He was happy he delivered hats and scarves when he did.

“At least we did that so they could add some layers,” he said.

The News Tribune says the crew has probably run out of fresh food by now.

Related: Nothing new now, but I have a scoop from long ago (Duluth Shipping News)