Robot assesses cable damage in Straits of Mackinac

The Detroit News
A remotely operated vehicle is prepared to be placed in the Straits of Mackinac to look at utility cables damaged by a ship's anchor.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday morning that the American Transmission Company deployed a robot in the Straits of Mackinac to assess damage to its utility cables.

ROV placed in Straits of Mackinac

The robot "will obtain underwater, visual imagery of the cables," the Coast Guard's statement said, and those images will allow government officials to determine the best path forward in repairing the damage.

Removal of mineral oils from two damaged cables continues. The Coast Guard has cited 'vessel activity' as causing damage to the cables. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette believes an anchor dropped in the Straits caused the damage, and earlier this month announced plans to sue VanEnkevort Tug and Barge Inc., owner of the Clyde S. VanEnkevort, for allegedly dropping the anchor on April 1.