Coast Guard begins icebreaking on Great Lakes

From the Duluth News Tribune

The U.S. Coast Guard began its Great Lakes icebreaking operations today, launching what it calls “Operation Taconite.” The effort involves not only Lake Superior but the St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac and Lake Michigan.

One icebreaker, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., has been assigned to Operation Taconite, the Coast Guard’s largest domestic icebreaking operation. It is headed west toward Duluth. Meanwhile, the cutter Alder is working buoys. Additional Coast Guard icebreakers are expected to join the operation in coming days.

No channels have been closed, but the Coast Guard advised it may enact restrictions, possibly limiting tanker transits to daylight hours, reducing maximum speeds by 2 mph in certain locations and requiring positioning reports.

All recreational ice users should avoid shipping channels and exercise caution.

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