Video – Coast Guard begins Operation RENEW in Northeast for icebreaking season

1st Coast Guard District News
BOSTON —The Coast Guard’s winter icebreaking season has officially kicked off in the Northeast, starting Dec. 16 and running through March.

During the annual effort, known as Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (RENEW), the Coast Guard will conduct icebreaking operations for several reasons:

* To facilitate security operations with ports, waterways and coastal security missions
* To help prevent loss of life on the water and ashore when impacted by ice
* To provide urgent response to vessels that are directly impacted by ice
* To support communities that have need for fuel, food and medical supplies
* To assist in preventing or easing flood conditions
* To meet the reasonable demands of commerce to facilitate navigation on frozen, navigable waterways

BOSTON - Coast Guard Tackle's crew breaks ice along the Penobscott River in Bangor, Maine, Feb. 21, 2013. The crew regularly break ice along Maine's rivers to keep the waterway open for commercial traffic and to prevent flooding. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Simpson.

BOSTON – Coast Guard Tackle’s crew breaks ice along the Penobscott River in Bangor, Maine, Feb. 21, 2013.. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Simpson.

Coast Guard units throughout the Northeast have been busy preparing for Operation RENEW by conducting training operations and prioritizing efforts. They are also replacing aids to navigation with special aids designed to ride underneath ice floes and remain on location. And the impact of these efforts extends well beyond the Northeast region.

Seventy-five percent of all heating oil used in the country is imported through New England, New York and New Jersey. Ninety percent of that is delivered by barges through Coast Guard-protected ports.

To conduct operation RENEW, Coast Guard crews will use the following ships:

  • Three 140-foot Seagoing Icebreaking Tugs
  • Eight 65-foot Small Harbor Tugs
  • Two 225-foot Juniper Class Buoy Tenders

During the 2012-2013 season, Coast Guard crews logged 1,603 hours of domestic icebreaking, answered 17 official requests for assistance and assisted 37 vessels in need. Coast Guard Auxiliary crews also flew 37 reconnaissance flights in search of frozen waterways. As a result of these efforts, no waterways were closed and no restrictions were implemented during that icebreaking season.

The Coast Guard facilitated the movement of an estimated 7.96 million barrels of petroleum products and an estimated 297,000 tons of dry bulk products in the Northeast, which totaled near $2 billion.

Coast Guard missions and capabilities are established to support investment security, innovation, and resilience, which are the foundations of a growing economy. The Coast Guard provides a safe, efficient, and navigable waterway system that supports domestic commerce, international trade and national defense.

Click the photo for more from the operation.

The below video of the Coast Guard Cutters Shackle and Tackle breaking ice was taken in February of this year.

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