The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(CLEVELAND) — The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards are continuing Operation Coal Shovel, the seasonal domestic icebreaking operations in the southern part of Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair and Detroit River systems, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
As of Sunday, U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers have logged 493 icebreaking hours and assisted 53 vessels during Operation Coal Shovel, which began Jan. 8.
The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards play essential roles in allowing the movement of vital iron ore, coal, salt, limestone, oil derivatives, cement and other cargoes.
U.S. and Canadian crewmembers coordinate, conduct and track maintenance, provide vessel assistance and conduct flushing operations to minimize the potential for residential flooding.
The mission of Operation Coal Shovel is to quickly reopen the Great Lakes maritime transportation system for the movement of commercial vessels that may become beset in the ice.
To report a person in distress or the need for search and rescue, contact the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit Operations Center at 313-568-9560.
Click here to view a time-lapse video of icebreakers at work.