Wind causes captain to steer Badger into PM Lake

June 13, 2013


LUDINGTON — The actions of a skilled captain and crew prevented what could have been a serious situation for the S.S. Badger. As the Badger was leaving dock, a wind gust caused it to go off course. Instead of taking the ship on its usual course through the harbor channel, Capt. Jeff Curtiss compensated by heading south into Pere Marquette Lake and then turning the ship around. Within 15 minutes it was underway back through the channel, about 11 a.m.

This morning’s winds were reported at 17 mph out of the north. As the Badger left the channel, the ship could be seen listing slightly to port (left facing the bow).

Lake Michigan Carferry spokeswoman Terri Brown said the Badger has been running slightly behind schedule due to some mechanical problems it encountered in Manitowoc early Thursday morning.

“The crew was able to get the problem fixed within a couple hours,” she said, “but it has caused a slight delay. We expect to make up for the delays in the next few sailings.”

Instead of its usual departure time of 9 a.m., the Badger left at 10:45 a.m. today.

Brown said ticket sales for this year’s season have increased compared recent previous years. The Badger also has seen an increase in commercial traffic, especially in the transport of wind turbine parts.

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