DOUGLAS, Mich. (WOOD) - Despite multiple attempts with tugboats, the S. S. Keewatin remains mired in mud at the dock in Douglas where it has been since 1967.
The effort to move the ship was scrapped around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday when it was determined bigger boats are needed to move the ship. The Keewatin was purchased by a Canadian group and is scheduled to sail to Ontario.
But the move hit some snags as a second tug boat was called in to help move the ship from its moorings. As crews started moving the ship more problems occurred and the ship was moved back to the dock.
It appears some mud underneath the ship is the problem. Crews are trying to flush out the mud and hope a bigger tug boat can help move the ship.
Prior to the attempts to move the ship began at 7 a.m., about 50 deck chairs and a life preserver were taken from the Keewatin. No arrests have been made.
====== WEBCAM OF KEEWATIN MOVE - SAUGATUCK WEBCAM ======
====== PHOTOS OF THE MOVE ======
The luxurious Victorian passenger steamer was christened in 1907 and sailed Lake Superior in the early 1900s. The ship's original owner -- Canadian Pacific Railway -- used the ship for nearly 60 years.
Roland Peterson bought the 104-year-old steam ship in 1967 and brought it to Douglas in Allegan County where it has been a floating museum and local landmark. The ship's sailing days were long past and Peterson wanted to preserve her so future generations could witness a piece of Great Lakes history.
A Canadian group is the newest owner and intends to preserve the ship on display at Port McNicoll in Ontario.
Crowds began gathering at the Douglas port just after sunrise to say farewell Wednesday morning.
"I was 12 when it got here, well you do the math and figure out how old I am now, so to see it go and move and leave, it's sad," Victoria Hutchins told 24 Hour News 8.
Bud Naughtin showed up to see the steamer off on its journey, only fitting since he helped bring the ship here so many years ago.
"When we brought it in in the '60s I didn't have a clue what was going to happen. All I knew was it was a big ship."
Her departure is bittersweet for many.
"It's a blessing for the people of Canada since she's going back where she came from. It'll help keep history alive there as well," said Katherine Murphy.
Archival YouTube video of the S.S. Keewatin and S.S. Assiniboia
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