UPDATE as of Friday 3:12 pm:
The S.S. Badger is enroute back to Ludington as of 12:30 this afternoon, the Ludington Daily reports. The carferry spent nearly a full day in the harbour in Manitowoc
On its trip back to Ludington, the Badger has limited crew and no passengers on board, according to the report.
According to the Ludington Daily, some of the over 300 passngers left Thursday, while others stayed on board throughout the night waiting for buses and vans to pick them up this morning.
The Daily reports that three pistons were replaced while the carferry was docked and more engine work is expected in Ludington.
UPDATE as of 8:34pm:
The S.S. Badger carferry service confirms that a tugboat finally was able to pull the carferry off the shoal and all passengers have disembarked. Crews are working to repair the engine and they hope to have the carferry heading back to Ludington within the hour.
The S.S. Badger got stuck on a shoal for several hours during its first crossing of the season.
The carferry was about 450 feet from the Manitowoc, Wis., dock Thursday afternoon when it ran aground. It had embarked from its home port of Ludington, Mich., that morning.
Senior chief engineer Charles Cart tells the Associated Press that sediment often builds up in Great Lakes harbors during winter. He says a problem with a piston reduced engine power, thwarting efforts to free the vessel.
On it's first voyage of the season, the S.S. Badger has run aground just off of Manitowoc.
Wind speeds of nearly 38 miles per hour caused the Badger to come into port at a bad angle and get stuck.
A barge from Sturgeon Bay has been called to help with the situation.
Steve Begnoche, the Managing Editor of the Ludington Daily News is on the Badger. He says the passengers are in pretty good spirits and the crew has been making frequent announcements. They also opened up the buffet for free. Begnoche says, "I feel sorry for them, they started the day off with great high hopes and they were looking forward to celebrating. I'm sure they're disappointed."
UpNorthLive is working on getting more details and will updated the story as details come in.