Coast Guard cutter crew to break ice in Saginaw Bay Shipping Channel, warns of unsafe ice conditions

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DETROIT — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay is scheduled to break ice in the Saginaw Bay Shipping Channel, starting at 8 a.m. Thursday and continuing into the evening hours.

The crew of Bristol Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug homeported in Detroit, will be conducting ice-breaking operations as part of Operation Coal Shovel, which is managed by Coast Guard Sector Detroit.

The crew will be escorting the tug Samuel de Champlain pushing the barge Innovation from the Saginaw Bay area to Essexville, Mich. The ice in these areas should be considered unstable and dangerous, and the Coast Guard is advising everyone to stay clear.

The Samuel de Champlain will be departing 12 to 24 hours after its arrival in Essexville.

Operation Coal Shovel is the ice-breaking operation that is responsible for lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario, and the southern part of Lake Huron, as well as the St. Clair and Detroit river systems.

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