Coast Guard Frees Two Tugs from the Ice

By The Maritime Executive 01-03-2018 12:49:05

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaking tug Penobscot Bay broke out two commercial tugs that were beset by ice on the Hudson River. A deep, sudden cold snap has caused difficulties on shore from Florida to Maine, including 11 fatalities to date, and temperatures in New Hampshire are set to hit Siberian lows of -35 degrees F on Friday. The severe weather has also created problems for inland shipping due to ice formation. 

The Coast Guard Sector New York command center received notice on Sunday that a commercial tug, the Brooklyn, had become beset by ice.  A second tug, the Stephanie Dann, became hampered by ice on Monday.

Coast Guard cutter Penobscot Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug, arrived on scene near Saugerties, New York on Sunday evening to help free the Brooklyn. The Brooklyn got stuck after she was disabled during a transit to Albany. After Brooklyn was freed, the Coast Guard harbor tug Hawser escorted her to her destination.

The Penobscot Bay also assisted the tug Stephanie Dann near Kingston, New York on Tuesday morning. After the Dann had been beset by ice for a full night, the icebreaker was able to clear an area for her to continue her transit.

Coast Guard ice-breaking tugs from Bayonne, New Jersey, and Saugerties, New York, are positioned along the Hudson and are assisting other vessels in areas with thick ice.Their mission is primarily aimed at ensuring the safe passage of energy cargoes needed to keep Northeast communities running through the winter. 

Inland icebreakers have also been busy on the Great Lakes, where the Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay freed the laker Walter J. McCarthy and the Canadian Coast Guard ship Samuel Risley freed the laker Edgar R. Speer on December 28. Both vessels became beset by ice the night of December 27 on the St. Marys River, the channel that connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron.