Spring restored – Coast Guard finishes buoy operations early

Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay transits Lake Superior near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore May 10, 2017, after working their final buoy of operation Spring Restore. Bristol Bay was one of two 140-foot ice-breaking tugs assigned Aids-to-Navigation duties in the Great Lakes. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Gould)

Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay transits Lake Superior near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore May 10, 2017, after working their final buoy of operation Spring Restore.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Gould)

CLEVELAND — The U.S. Coast Guard completed Operation Spring Restore Tuesday, five days ahead of schedule.

Spring Restore involves the re-installment of 1,216 federal navigational aids, including lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons.

Due to a light ice year, crews were able to commence the operation on March 14, two full weeks earlier than normal. Seven aids-to-navigation teams and five cutters, with additional support from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and the border lakes Lamplighters, participated in the operation.

Crews also assisted the Canadian Coast Guard with the placement of multiple weather buoys on Lake Ontario.

Additionally, several challenges were overcome during the operation. The Coast Guard Cutter Alder was unable to participate due to an inoperable crane and above average water levels in Lake Ontario delayed some aids being commissioned due to debris associated with high water.

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