Clogged intakes cause delay of Badger’s Manitowoc departure.

May 12, 2016
File photo, SS Badger in Manitowoc, Wis.

File photo, SS Badger in Manitowoc, Wis.

A diver was called in to clear the Badger's intakes. Photo by Erika Minnberg.

A diver was called in to clear the Badger’s intakes. Photo by Erika Minnberg.

The SS Badger’s departure from Manitowoc, Wisconsin was delayed several hours tonight due to seaweed in the intakes, according to Capt. Jeff Curtis. The captain addressed the passengers after the ship departed from Manitowoc at 10:17 p.m. Eastern time and is expected to arrive in Ludington at 2:30 a.m.

The Badger normally leaves Ludington at 8:30 a.m. and arrives in Manitowoc at 11:30 a.m. Central time (12:30 p.m. Eastern time). Because today was the maiden voyage of the 2016 sailing season and because there were dedication ceremonies at the Ludington and Manitowoc docks, the ship’s departure times were pushed back. It departed Ludington at 10 a.m. and was scheduled to leave Manitowoc at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Capt. Curtis told passengers that the seaweed most likely entered the intakes from the Manitowoc River. He said a diver was hired to remove the debris from the intakes and that the ship left the harbor very slowly in order to assure any other debris would be washed out.

“We played a lot of Bingo,” passenger Erika Minnberg of Ludington told MCP, adding that Lake Michigan Carferry Service provided dinner. “It’s been a long day.” 

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