Continued icebreaking operations from the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards open maritime lanes for commercial vessels
The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards are jointly continuing Operation Coal Shovel, the seasonal domestic icebreaking operations in the southern part of Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair and Detroit River systems
, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. As of Sunday, U.S. Coast Guard
(USCG) icebreakers have logged 493 icebreaking hours and assisted 53 vessels since beginning Operation Coal Shovel on January 8.
Operation Coal Shovel’s mission is to quickly reopen the Great Lakes maritime transportation system for the movement of commercial vessels that may become beset in the ice. The Coast Guards’ icebreaking work plays an essential role in allowing the movement of vital iron ore, coal, salt, limestone, oil derivatives, cement and other cargos.
U.S. and Canadian crew members also coordinate, conduct and track maintenance, provide vessel assistance and conduct flushing operations to minimize the potential for residential flooding.