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Great Lakes Freighter Offers a ‘Master Salute’ as 168 Years of Michigan History Ends

master salute escanaba
John W. Anderson/Facebook

It was the end of an era in Northern Michigan recently when the last shipment of ore left the docks at Escanaba. As the ship was leaving port, it offered the city a ‘Master Salute.’ as it sailed off into the waters of Lake Michigan.

The video shared on Facebook shows the laker, named the Wilfred Sykes, performing the Master Salute to the city. In nautical terms, a Master Salute is 

The formal salute is saved for special occasions, for an extra special hello

The Master Salute consists of 3 long follows by 2 short blasts on the ship’s whistle.

The salute to Escanaba was shared on the Boatnerd Facebook group

After 150+ years of iron ore being shipped out of the Escanaba ore terminal. The Wilfred Sykes on April 18th has the last load of ore. Here is the Sykes rounding Sand Point and giving Escanaba a Master Salute.

It was actually 165 years that ore shipments have left the docks at Escanaba. However the CN railroad that delivered the ore to the dock has ended their trans as there is no more ore to be mined. The Houghton Mining Journal reports

“A CN spokesman told Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole that activity at the Escanaba ore dock has been very slow since Cliffs Natural Resources closed the Empire Mine last year,” the story said. “The Lakes Carriers’ Association says about 3.5 million tons of iron ore was shipped out of the Escanaba port in 2015.”

The closure is expected to impact 12 union employees, the story said. Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole said he was told the employees will be able to transfer to other locations.

After 150+ years of iron ore being shipped out of the Escanaba ore terminal. The Wilfred Sykes on April 18th has the last load of ore. Here is the Sykes rounding Sand Point and giving Escanaba a Master Salute.

Posted by John W Anderson on Sunday, April 30, 2017

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