Coast Guard warns western Lake Erie communities of upcoming commercial ice-breaking activity

DETROIT — The Coast Guard is advising residents of southern Lake Erie islands including Catawba Island, Ohio, that the commercial tug Ohio is scheduled to break ice from South Bass Island to Catawba Island Tuesday morning.

This ice-breaking operation does not involve a Coast Guard icebreaker; nonetheless, the Coast Guard is advising residents and visitors that any ice in the area may be particularly unstable and dangerous.

The tug Ohio will depart Cleveland Monday at about 1 a.m. and head toward South Bass Island, transiting between Kelleys Island and Middle Island. The Ohio will later depart from Put-in-Bay in South Bass Island and head toward Catawba Island at about 10 a.m. with a barge in tow. The vessel will transit around the eastern portion of South Bass Island toward the Miller’s Ferry Dock on Catawba Island following the Miller Boat Ferry Route. The vessels plan to remain in Catawba Island for 2 hours loading construction supplies. After loading, the vessels are expected to depart Catawba Island at about 1 p.m. In case of a delay loading at Catawba Island, the Ohio may depart Wednesday morning.

All transit times and locations are subject to change based on weather conditions.

All efforts are being made to limit the impact on winter activities on the ice, however the Coast Guard advises everyone to stay clear of this area.

Anyone participating in ice activities on the Great Lakes should follow the acronym of I.C.E.:

  • Information about current weather and ice conditions. Tell a friend of your intended destination. Know who and how to call for help.
  • Clothing that is appropriate for the activity. Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Choose bright colors and reflective garments to aid searchers if you should end up needing help.
  • Equipment to be safer on the ice. Always bring a life jacket, a compass or GPS, a means of communication, such as a marine radio, and screw drivers or ice picks, which may allow you to pull yourself out of the water should you break through.

For additional information on this project, contact Mark Nowakowski of HPH Mechanical at 419-843-2225.

Additional ice safety information can be found in the Coast Guard’s “Think Twice with Ice” safety brochure.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.