The following is the text of a news release from The Great Lakes Towing Company:
(CLEVELAND) — The Great Lakes Towing Company came to the aid of the United States Coast Guard on Monday night in the St. Marys River just two miles east of the U.S. Coast Guard Station, Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The 140-foot Bay-class icebreaking tug Katmai Bay (WTGB 101) was dead in the icy waters and required towing assistance to its homeport dock. Around 10:45 p.m. Monday night, the towing company tug Missouri was dispatched to break ice and assist the USCGC Katmai Bay back to its dock two hours later.
The tug Missouri is also homeported in Sault Ste Marie, Mich., to assist vessels through the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers locks and to provide emergency rescue assistance and icebreaking when needed. The locks connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron. This winter, the Missouri and other tugs of The Great Lakes Towing Company fleet have been extremely busy providing icebreaking assistance to vessels on all the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes Towing Company collaborates and coordinates its icebreaking operations with the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaking task groups on the Great Lakes, namely Sector Detroit’s Operation Taconite and Sector Sault Ste. Marie’s Operation Coal Shovel. Operation Taconite is the largest domestic icebreaking operation in the United States. For the past 115 years, the towing company has provided commercial icebreaking in ports and harbors throughout the Great Lakes. The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards provide icebreaking assistance in waters where commercial icebreaking resources are either unavailable or incapable of handling the difficult ice conditions.
The Great Lakes Towing Company operates the largest and most experienced U.S.-flag tugboat fleet engaged in harbor assist and towing operations on the Great Lakes. Company services include ship assist, logistics and cargo transportation, icebreaking, and emergency assistance of every kind of vessel, barge, and marine structure.