The Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug homeported in Cleveland but currently moored in Duluth, is scheduled to undergo an in-water repair Sunday and Monday.
The Morro Bay suffered a rudder casualty while conducting icebreaking operations in Thunder Bay, Ontario, March 27, and was towed to Duluth by the Coast Guard Cutters Alder and Katmai Bay.
Divers and Coast Guard naval engineers examined the Morro Bay and discovered that icebreaking operations exacerbated an unknown, preexisting problem with several bolts that fasten the cutter's rudder to the rudder post. The problem ultimately resulted in the loss of five out of six bolts that hold the rudder in place. Naval engineers have continued to examine the data to effect repairs and ultimately determine the root cause.
If repairs go as expected, the cutter crew expects to be back underway immediately to resume ice breaking on the Great Lakes.