Maine CG Cutter to Break Ice on Great Lakes
November 29, 2011
A Maine-based Coast Guard cutter is scheduled to deploy to the Great Lakes on today (November 29) to assist in the service’s icebreaking mission there throughout the winter months.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug, will arrive in the Great Lakes region a few weeks after it departs its homeport of Rockland.
While there, the crew will assist other Coast Guard icebreakers during Operations Coal Shovel and Taconite, the largest domestic icebreaking operations in the country. The Coast Guard conducts domestic icebreaking to aid in search and rescue and other emergency operations, mitigate flooding, and to meet the reasonable demands of commerce.
Icebreaking on the Great Lakes is vital to keeping shipping lanes open. Large quantities of steel, coal, heating oil and grain ships throughout the region, and Coast Guard icebreaking services enable these shippers to transport an average of $2 billion worth of cargo each year.
While the crew of the Thunder Bay is deployed to the Great Lakes, other cutter crews will cover their traditional area of responsibility when the need for icebreaking there arises.