Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay keeps shipping lanes open on the Hudson River

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay is conducting ice breaking along the Hudson River in support of Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters.

OP RENEW is the Coast Guard’s region-wide effort to ensure Northeast communities have the security, supplies, and emergency resources they need throughout the winter.

Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay breaks ice on the Hudson River in New York on Feb. 2, 2015. The Thunder Bay broke ice in support of Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters, which focuses on keeping shipping channels open in the Northeastern U.S. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Zac Bender)

Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay breaks ice on the Hudson River in New York on Feb. 2, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Zac Bender)

“We saw several barges carrying home heating oil going up and crude oil going down river,” said Lt. Zac Bender, commanding officer of the Thunder Bay. “Their safe passage is necessary to keep homes warm across the Northeast.”

The Thunder Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug homeported in Rockland, Maine, continues to break ice on the Hudson to keep shipping channels open between Kingston and Albany, New York. The Thunder Bay provided safe passage following the blizzard for the PANAMAX-sized carrier loaded with salt headed to Albany.

The ice has increased from open pools of water to three-inch-thick plate ice over the past weekend in the vicinity of Hudson Light (as pictured). If temperatures stay below freezing the ice will continue to thicken.

Of the heating oil used in the country, 75 percent of it is transported through New England, New York, and New Jersey, 90 percent of that is delivered by barges.

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