Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay keeps commercial vessel traffic moving

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CLEVELAND — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay has kept eight commercial vessels moving through the St. Marys River by conducting ice reconnaissance, grooming tracks and even providing direct assistance to two vessels that became beset by ice while in transit.

The crew of the Biscayne Bay directly assisted: the motor vessel Presque Isle, a 1,000-foot tug/barge combination, Saturday; the motor vessel Stewart J Cort, downbound enroute to Burns Harbor, Ind.; and the motor vessel St. Clair, a 762-foot steamship, upbound to Silver Bay, Minn.

The Biscayne Bay’s crew got underway from Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., at 7 a.m., this morning to render assistance to the motor vessel St. Clair. There were six vessels in the queue ready to transit the river when the two vessels were broken free.

USCGC Biscayne Bay breaks ice on St. Marys River

Crew members aboard Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay get a panoramic view of ice floes in the lower St. Marys River while conducting ice-breaking operations as part of Operation Taconite, Dec. 13, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Paul Junghans.

The Biscayne Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug homeported in St. Ignace, Mich., has been working under the direction of Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie’s Operation Taconite since Thursday.

Both ships that were beset by ice Sunday were blocking the navigational channel and other vessels were impacted by the vessels being stuck there.

Click the photo for more from the operation.

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