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Opening of Navigation ‘Top Hat’ Ceremony

The 2019 navigation season has officially begun in the Port of Thunder Bay with the arrival of two vessels on Thursday, March 28. MV Kaministiqua arrived at 08:00 Thursday morning to take the Top Hat title, an honour bestowed upon the first vessel to transit Lake Superior and arrive in the Port of Thunder Bay to open the shipping season. MV Algoma Sault arrived in port Thursday evening.

Kaministiqua is a ‘regular’ vessel to Thunder Bay, shipping grain to ports in the Lower Lakes and to ports in the Lower St. Lawrence for transshipment to ocean carriers.  Despite visiting Thunder Bay more than a dozen times annually for the last several years, this is Kaministiqua’s first Top Hat.

The vessel, owned by Lower Lakes Towing, berthed at Richardson’s Current River elevator Thursday and will depart to Port Cartier today with a load of grain.  In a Top Hat Ceremony held aboard the vessel, Captain Scott Mogelin and Chief Engineer George Michailopolous were recognized by representatives from Port of Thunder Bay, the City of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Lower Lakes Towing carries a quarter of all Laker grain shipments from Thunder Bay.  The company’s vessels have received the Top Hat four of the past five years.  Lower Lakes Towing President Aaron Degodney will be Guest Speaker at the annual Opening of Navigation Luncheon next Thursday, April 4.  Members of the public can purchase tickets on the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce website.