The U.S. Coast Guard is warning residents of southern Lake Erie islands that commercial icebreaking operations are scheduled to take place Monday, and possibly Tuesday, between South Bass and Catawba islands.
Operations are scheduled to begin Monday at about 1 a.m. when the tug Ohio departs Cleveland and transits to South Bass Island between Kellys and Middle islands.
At about 10 a.m., the Ohio will then depart South Bass Island from Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and will be followed by the tug Bessie J, which will be towing one barge. All vessels will travel around the eastern part of South Bass Island toward the Miller’s Ferry Dock on Catawba Island and will utilize the Miller's Ferry route.
The vessels plan to remain in Catawba Island for about two hours during loading operations.
At about 1 p.m., the vessels will depart Catawba Island and transit back to South Bass Island again by way of the ferry route. After unloading, they will then return to Cleveland.
Should a delay occur during loading operations, the vessels may need to remain overnight on Catawba Island. Departure to South Bass Island would then take place on Tuesday morning. Transit times and locations are subject to change based on weather conditions.
The Coast Guard has already begun sending out a broadcast notice to mariners on VHF-FM marine radio channel 16 with the latest information and will continue hourly broadcasts through the conclusion of the operations.
Safety marine information broadcasts are also being communicated on FM channel 16. Those messages will be broadcasted every three hours.
All efforts are being made to limit the impact on winter activities on the ice, including ice fishing.
The Coast Guard advises everyone to remain away from these areas and warns that ice is unpredictable and dangerous. Recreational users of the ice should plan their activities carefully. All ice in the vicinity of the vessels and the planned transits should be considered unsafe.