USCG Concludes its Largest Domestic Icebreaking Operation

By Eric Haun
Friday, May 16, 2014
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, homeported in Cheboygan, Mich., conducts an escort on Lake Superior near Whitefish Point April 3, 2014. (USCG photo)

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) crews concluded the nation’s largest domestic ice operation known as Taconite, Thursday, after more than five months of icebreaking operations in the Northern Great Lakes.

Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, plans and runs Operation Taconite, which includes all of Lakes Superior and Michigan, the northern half of Lake Huron, the St. Marys River and the Straits of Mackinac.

During the 160 days of the operation, nine U.S. Coast Guard and three Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers spent more than 5,000 hours breaking ice for convoys and assisted in 946 commercial vessel transits that moved an estimated 33 million tons of dry bulk and liquid cargoes, valued at $1.2 billion. These commodities were crucial to sustaining industrial production and power generation for the Great Lakes region during the winter months. Icebreakers provided direct assistance for 517 of the transits.

An additional 5,597 hours of icebreaking established and maintained tracks through the ice-choked waterways of Georgian Bay, Straits of Mackinac, Green Bay, southern Lake Michigan, St. Marys River, and across Lake Superior.

U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard aviators flew 43 sorties in direct support of the icebreaking operation, providing a bird's-eye view of ice coverage, track quality and open water.

Although official statistics have not been released, it is reported the 2013-14 winter season produced the thickest and most expansive ice cover the Great Lakes has experienced in 35 years.



Icebreaking crews experienced the dramatic conditions first-hand. In February 2014, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay spent eight days escorting the motor tanker Algocanada’s up the St. Marys River, a transit that takes 12 hours under historical ice conditions. The Katmai Bay’s crew had to stop the escort twice to refuel.



In March, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, the Coast Guard’s most powerful icebreaker in the Great Lakes, led the tug Joyce L. Van Ekenvort with barge Great Lakes Trader on the season's first westbound crossing of the Straits of Mackinac. The typically 12-hour voyage lasted four days. The Joyce L. Van Ekenvort is the most powerful tugboat on the Great Lakes.

The crew of Mackinaw also led the first eastbound crossing of Lake Superior. Their voyage lasted nine days, though it usually takes 24 hours.


The first load of iron ore, from Two Harbors, Minnesota to Gary Harbor, Indiana, took 13 days to deliver, which is normally a three day voyage.


uscgnews.com
 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navigation

Scandlines Enhance Puttgarden-Rødby Route Capacity

Scandlines has deployed the M/V Mercandia VIII ferry in order to increase the capacity for the following months, while the passenger ferry M/V Prinsesse Benedikte is at the yard.

Transas integrates Shipping Guides Port Data

Transas Marine has teamed up with Shipping Guides Ltd (UK) to incorporate port data within the Transas Navi-Planner 4000. Having detailed information on ports

Ships 10% Less Fuel Efficient Than Those Built in 1990

New ships today are no more efficient than they were over twenty years ago, despite shipping industry claims to the contrary. The efficiency of new ships has deteriorated

Environmental

Shipping is Cutting CO2 Emissions

London-based shipping advisors Drewry Supply Chain Associates said that shipping liner operators have made significant inroads into cutting CO2 emissions.   In

Naval Authorities Rely on OSE Separators from GEA

The trend of modernizing ships and fitting them with more efficient separator systems, which has been noticeable since 2014 particularly in Europe and North America,

MacGregor's Pusnes bow loading systems for Suezmax Tankers

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has secured contracts to supply Pusnes bow loading systems for three newbuild shuttle tankers intended for operations in Brazilian waters.

News

New CEO for Evergas

Evergas has appointed Steffen Jacobsen as CEO of the company as of 8 May 2015 Mr. Jacobsen joined Evergas 1 February 2015 as Vice President, Fleet after almost 35 years in Maersk.

NCSP Group Cargo Traffic Up 6% in Q1 2015

Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port Group (NCSP Group or the Group) (LSE: NCSP, Moscow Exchange: NMTP) reports that Group’s consolidated cargo turnover in Q1 2015 increased by 2 million tonnes or 6.

Naming Ceremony of Evergreen's EVER LYRIC

Evergreen Group today held the naming ceremony for EVER LYRIC, the eighth of its L-type vessels built by CSBC Corporation in Taiwan. The ceremony took place

Coast Guard

Hands Across the Water

U.S. firms leverage Netherlands-based Damen Shipyard’s vessel designs and technical support. For nearly 40 years, Damen Shipyards Group in the Netherlands has

Arctic Offshore Rig Gets USCG Escort

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) crews escorted heavy lift ship Blue Marlin as it toted a controversial 38,000-metric-ton drilling rig into Port Angeles, Wash., Friday. Blue Marlin,

Naval Authorities Rely on OSE Separators from GEA

The trend of modernizing ships and fitting them with more efficient separator systems, which has been noticeable since 2014 particularly in Europe and North America,

Maritime Safety

China Snubs G7 Declaration on Sea Row

Reacting to recent declaration of  the Group of Seven (G7) major nations' Foreign Ministers on maritime , China said “the situation of this region is generally stable,

Arctic Offshore Rig Gets USCG Escort

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) crews escorted heavy lift ship Blue Marlin as it toted a controversial 38,000-metric-ton drilling rig into Port Angeles, Wash., Friday. Blue Marlin,

SEACOR Marine Sweeps NOIA SIS Awards

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) today presented SEACOR Marine with the 2015 NOIA Safety in Seas (SIS) Culture of Safety Award and Safety Practice Award.

Great Lakes

Mount Vernon Port Breaks Indiana Shipping Record

The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon recorded the highest quarterly shipments by any port in Ports of Indiana's over 50-plus year history during the first quarter of 2015.

Fednav Orders 12 Ballast Water Treatment Systems

Fednav Limited, a Canadian operator of international ships in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, announced an order for 12 ballast water treatment systems

AWO Urges for Congressional Support

Nation's Tugboat, Towboat and Barge Industry to Call on Congress: Urge Support for Vessel Discharge Reforms, American Jobs and Waterways Reliability   The American Waterways Operators (AWO),

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2474 sec (4 req/sec)