Coast Guard 2018 icebreaking season is underway

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Shackle, a 65-foot Small Harbor Tug, breaks ice Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 near Logan International Airport in Boston Harbor. Shackle is capable of breaking up to 12 inches of ice. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi)

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Shackle, a 65-foot Small Harbor Tug, breaks ice.. (U.S. Coast Guard file photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi)

BOSTON — The Coast Guard launched its ice breaking season Monday, as winter’s cold temperatures are anticipated to impact every port, waterway, and harbor in the Northeast.

Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (OpRENEW) is the Coast Guard’s region-wide effort to ensure Northeast communities have the security, supplies, energy, and emergency resources they need throughout the winter.

Of the heating oil used in the country, more than 85 percent is consumed in the Northeast, and 90 percent of that is delivered on a Coast Guard maintained waterway by ship.


The Coast Guard’s domestic icebreaking operations are intended to facilitate navigation within reasonable demands of commerce and minimize waterways closures during the winter, while enabling commercial vessels to transit through ice-covered critical channels.

Coast Guard crews are also replacing aids to navigation with special ice buoys designed to ride underneath ice and remain on location.

A coordinated effort with the maritime industry ensures the vital ports of the Northeast remain open year-round.


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