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 July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navigation

BCG Releases PCVM Emulation

Buffalo Computer Graphics (BCG) Inc. announced the addition of another emulation product to its family of Radar Simulators. BCG has completed an emulation of the VisionMaster FT radar – our PCVM.

Crippled Pine Galaxy Arrives in San Francisco

The disabled mixed-products tanker Pine Galaxy arrived in San Francisco for repairs Wednesday. Commercial tugs towed the ship safety into the Port of San Francisco

Governors Write Obama for Mississippi River Funding

Governors seek President Obama’s support for upper Mississippi River commercial navigation locks and ecosystem The Governors of the five Upper Mississippi River States of Illinois,

Environmental

BMT WBM to Showcase TUFLOW at World Bank Seminar

BMT WBM ( (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, a leading international engineering and risk management consultancy, is delighted to announce that it will be presenting

Long Beach Cargo Operations Resume

Repair work begins after storm surges subsides The Port of Long Beach resumed full cargo-handling operations Thursday, Aug. 28, after a lessening of storm surges

Restoring the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary

Significant challenges often require a team effort. Restoring the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary is one of them. A group of professionals from the Army Corps of Engineers,

News

Dool to Serve as Chair of SLSMC Board

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced that Tim Dool has been named as Chair of the Board of Directors, effective September 1. Dool was

Bollore First Half Boosted by Transport, Advertising Unit

French industrial group Bollore said first-half operating income rose 11 percent to 314 million euro because of strength at its transport business and advertising agency Havas,

East and South China Sea Disputes Need Creative Diplomacy

China and the United States appear headed for a damaging confrontation over the extent of China's territorial claims in the South and East China Seas. Now that

Coast Guard

East and South China Sea Disputes Need Creative Diplomacy

China and the United States appear headed for a damaging confrontation over the extent of China's territorial claims in the South and East China Seas. Now that

MN 100: Kvichak Marine Industries, Inc.

469 NW Bowdoin Place Seattle, WA 98107 Telephone: 206 545 8485 E-mail: sales@kvichak.com Website: www.kvichak.com CEO/President: Keith Whittemore Number of

USCG Recognizes Meritorious Bulkship Rescue Team

Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal, State, County and several members of the maritime community have received a Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation

Maritime Safety

Long Beach Cargo Operations Resume

Repair work begins after storm surges subsides The Port of Long Beach resumed full cargo-handling operations Thursday, Aug. 28, after a lessening of storm surges

Ferry Runs Aground in Lynn Harbor

Ferry Cetacea ran aground about a quarter of a mile from the pier in Lynn Harbor, Massachusetts yesterday, with 13 passengers and four crew aboard, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported.

Helideck Safety System to Launch at SMM

Amarcon and Observator Instruments will develop a helideck monitoring and forecasting system to improve the safety of helicopter landings and take-offs from a vessel.

Great Lakes

Dool to Serve as Chair of SLSMC Board

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced that Tim Dool has been named as Chair of the Board of Directors, effective September 1. Dool was

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1139 sec (9 req/sec)