MACKINAC CITY, Mich. — The Coast Guard and others responded to a Mackinac Island ferry that lost steering while in the Straits of Mackinac on April 5 around 6 p.m. The Star Line ferry Huron had 144 passengers and 4 crew members aboard when the ferry lost steering and subsequently was unable to deploy its anchor.
The ferry and all aboard drifted toward St. Ignace but were in luck as the Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay, was breaking ice nearby and diverted to assist.
A local commercial vessel that also serves Mackinac Island, the Senator, responded as well, meeting the disabled ferry, and taking all its passengers aboard.
The passengers were safely transported to St. Ignace, while the four Huron crewmembers stayed aboard their vessel and Katmai Bay stood by while towing arrangements were finalized.
“Tonight’s incident can serve as a reminder that life on the Great Lakes is far from predictable,” said Lt. Tyler Carslgaard of Sector Sault Ste. Marie. “Fortunately, good cooperation and simple precautions like making sure everyone on board was wearing a life jacket helped everyone get home safely.”