Coast Guard Breaks Ice to Make Way for Ships

Coast Guard Clears Way Before Shipping Season Begins

DULUTH, Minn.- The Alder cruised through Lake Superior, cracking and breaking the ice that formed on the water’s surface.

“The Alder is a 225 foot buoy tender, it is ice capable, so it’s not actually designated as an ice breaker, we just have the ability to break ice,” explained Lt. Christian Von Stralendorff of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Shipping season is around the corner, and the coast guard cleared the way so large ships could come and go through the Twin Ports safely.

The process includes breaking the Ice in to pieces by using the weight of the boat to crush it, and moving buoys, that have been moved overtime by winter storms and ice, back to their right spots, so incoming ships know what to look out for.

“We don’t want that buoy marking danger, where there actually isn’t danger. And we don’t want that buoy to be where danger actually is,” said Von Stralendorff.

The Coast Guard even allows civilians to hop aboard the ship to see them in action.

“It’s a unique opportunity there’s not a lot of people who get to go out or be on a ship like this,” said Von Stralendorff.

Many people are interested and take advantage of the chance to ride the ship

“Being able to go out there and watch them pull the buoy out of the water was really amazing,” said India Butler, a visitor on the ship.

As well as, learn a little more about what helps support a successful shipping season that is vital to the Twin Port’s History, and the heart of the local economy.

“Being able to go out there and watch them pull the buoy out of the water was really amazing,” added Butler. “They work really well together, is one thing I can really say, they ensure safety at all turns.”