Coast Guard assisting four vessels delayed by ice jam on St. Clair River

DETROIT—The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting four vessels in the St. Clair River which are delayed due to an ice jam in the vicinity of Algonac, Mich., Sunday.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Neah Bay, homeported in Cleveland; Penobscot Bay, homeported in Bayonne, N.J.; Hollyhock, homported in Port Huron, Mich.; and Bristol Bay, homeported here, are working together to break the ice jam and allow vessels to transit that southern end of the St. Clair River.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit are conducting overflights of the area and providing the cutters in that area with operational support.

“Coast Guard ice-breaking operations are crucial to vessels transiting the Great Lakes during the winter,” said Chief Warrant Officer Mark Stauffer, Aids-to-Navigation Officer for Coast Guard Sector Detroit. “Without ice-breaking efforts, commerce on the Great Lakes could come to a standstill during the winter months.”

Coast Guard icebreaking operations are designed to facilitate the movement of commercial vessels to meet the reasonable demands of commerce on the Great Lakes and, when request and available, to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with flood mitigation.

The Coast Guard conducts two major operations: Taconite and Coal Shovel. These operations ensure the most efficient movement of vessels through the entire Great Lakes region.

Taconite, under the tactical control of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., encompasses Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Michigan and northern Lake Huron. Coal Shovel, under the tactical control of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit, encompasses southern Lake Huron, St. Clair/Detroit River systems, and Lakes Erie and Ontario, and includes the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Based on ice conditions, assets are dedicated to specific areas in coordination with our international partners and commercial icebreaking services.

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