Laker cement vessel grounds

Laker cement vessel grounds
Published: 29 March 2007

The lake-going vessel that brings cement to Rochester almost ran aground entering the Port of Rochester last week. The U.S. Coast Guard says the Stephen B. Roman bumped bottom, apparently hitting some shoals that formed since the ship last came to Rochester January 11th.

The MV Roman, laker is some 488 feet long and grounded in the center of the channel near the mouth of the river last Friday when the crew had to take action to stop the ship. "It was a surprise to Essroc. It was a surprise to the Roman," said Steve Hewitt, Essroc Rochester Spokesman.

Essroc is the company that ships the cement from Canada to riverfront facilities in both Oswego and Rochester a couple times a week. "At that point in time there really wasn’t a lot of choices other than to take the Roman back to Oswego and finish off-loading its cargo there."

In fact, the Roman had stopped in Oswego and had only a half load on when it entered the Port of Rochester. And it still got stuck. The ship has a draft of 19 feet. That means it needs at least that much depth in the river to ply the waters up about two miles to the cement silos at Essroc. The last time the river was dredged was 2004.  The Corps of Engineers says Essroc can pay for the dredging itself. The cost is estimated at about $750,000