Connecticut-based Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay arrives in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morrow Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug homeported in New London, Conn., arrives at the Cleveland Moorings, Dec. 10, 2010. Morro Bay's crew will spend the 2010-11 ice breaking season assisting the Ninth Coast Guard District throughout the Great Lakes. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class George Degener.)

USCG Cutter Morro Bay - USCG photo

CLEVELAND — Connecticut-based Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay arrived in Cleveland today to assist in the service’s icebreaking mission in the Great Lakes throughout the winter months.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug, departed its homeport of New London, Conn., Nov. 29, 2010.

While in the Great Lakes, the crew will assist those of other Coast Guard icebreakers during Operations Coal Shovel and Taconite, the largest domestic ice breaking operations in the country. The Coast Guard conducts domestic ice breaking to aid in search and rescue and other emergency operations, mitigate flooding, and to meet the reasonable demands of commerce.

Ice breaking on the Great Lakes is vital to keeping shipping lanes open. Large quantities of steel, coal, heating oil and grain ships throughout the region, and Coast Guard ice breaking services enable these shippers to transport an average of $2 billion worth of cargo each year.

Coast Guard cutters from the Northeast and New England have successfully assisted with icebreaking in the Great Lakes for the past two winters – the Coast Guard Cutter Penobscot Bay, homeported in Bayonne, N.J., during the 2009-10 winter and the Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay, from Rockland, Maine, during the winter of 2008-09.

“It was a great trip, and we’re happy to have arrived here in Cleveland,” said Lt. Cmdr. Douglas Wyatt, commanding officer of Morro Bay. “We look forward to assisting the Coast Guard’s ice breaking mission, to safeguard the people of the Great Lakes and keep commerce moving. We are ready to go anywhere our services are needed.”

While the crew of the Morro Bay is deployed to the Great Lakes, other cutter crews will cover their traditional area of responsibility if the need for icebreaking there arises.

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