Coast Guard Cutters Morro Bay and Katmai Bay, homeported in Cleveland and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., conducted ice breaking operations in Marquette, Mich., Sunday.
The harbor breakout operations commenced following a difficult and lengthy escort that started in Duluth, Minn., and utilized satellite imagery to find openings in the ice.
The crews’ efforts helped keep local mining operations open by allowing the commercial carriers Mesabi Miner and Kaye E. Barker to offload badly-needed coal to the power plant that is the sole supplier of electricity to the mines. Ice in Marquette harbor was reported to be up to 24 inches thick.
The Coast Guard icebreaking fleet has worked diligently throughout this historically gruelling winter to keep commerce moving throughout the Great Lakes despite significant ice coverage.