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First Saltie of 2019 Sails Into the Twin Ports

Updated: April 16, 2019 07:11 AM

The first saltie of the season sailed under the lift bridge on Monday morning at 6:48. The Maria G, which flies the flag of Malta, arrived to load grain at Riverland Ag/Duluth Storage on Rice's Point.

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She's operated by 22 crew members, under the command of Captain Ievgen Medvedenko. He told us, "We are happy to be here, not only me, but the crew too. We are grateful for the hospitality." He said the voyage wasn't easy, thanks to the ice, but not so hard either.

The mayors of the Twin Ports, port leaders, and Visit Duluth shared gifts for the Captain and his crew.

According to the port authority, the owner the Maria G is Sweden-based Brochart KB. She unloaded steel in Ontario, before heading to Duluth.

Once she's done loading about 21,000 metric tons of spring wheat, she'll head back to Italy!

Jayson Hron, the new Director of Communications, said, "It's an indication of the world port we really are. The saltie is coming in here, to load grain, to take it to Italy, and turn it into spaghetti noodles we might eat. How small our world has become, and there are great partnerships around the world, many start right here in Duluth-Superior."

The Port of Duluth-Superior is the western-most edge of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

Over 2,000 people entered the Visit Duluth and Port Authority's First Ship Contest. The winner, Debra Keech of Stillwater, was 18 minutes off! She guessed 6:30am on April 18th.

Fun fact, the Maria G was actually the first ship back in 2008 too!

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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