Electrical problem may have caused tanker's grounding: TSB

The chemical tanker that ran aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway in May could have been steered off course by an electrical issue, said the Transportation Safety Board of Canada in its final report.

Chem Norma's captain unable to right vessel's course, according to report

The Chem Norma, a chemical tanker, ran aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Morrisburg, Ont., in May. (Stu Mills/CBC)

The chemical tanker that ran aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway in May could have been steered off course by an electrical issue, said the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in its final report.

The Chem Norma was stuck from May 29 to June 3 near Morrisburg, Ont. No chemicals spilled into the seaway as a result.

In its final report into the incident, released Tuesday, the TSB said the vessel suddenly veered to starboard as it headed for Sarnia, Ont.

By the time the captain regained control, it was too late to avoid running aground.

The TSB couldn't determine the precise cause of the mishap, but said parts of the steering system lacked proper power surge protection, and certain parts had outlived their recommended lifespan.

According to the report, the tanker's owner is reviewing what to do when captains lose steering control and has contacted the steering system's manufacturer to seek a solution.