Coast Guard ready to break ice in Duluth-Superior

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.) — The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder is scheduled to commence spring breakout operations in the Duluth-Superior area Thursday.  

These operations will continue periodically over the next few days and weeks to prepare regional waterways for the start of the Great Lakes commercial navigation season.

Initially, icebreaking operations will occur inside the Duluth and Superior harbors. The icebreaking work will expand in the following days to prepare Two Harbors, Minn.; Taconite Harbor, Minn.; Silver Bay, Minn.; and Thunder Bay, Ontario, for commercial ship movements.

Unlike some previous winters, this year was unseasonably warm. Regional ice cover is not as expansive nor did it reach traditional thicknesses. The forecast for the next seven to 10 days calls for temperatures conducive to rapid deterioration of ice. All snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle operators, ice fishermen, and other recreational users of the ice should recognize the instability of the ice, plan their activities carefully, and use caution near the ice, especially in proximity to charted navigation areas.

Further inquiries may be made by phone to Sault Vessel Traffic Service at (906) 635-3232 or via email at 

By Professional Mariner Staff