Freeing a ship from the icy grip of Lake Erie is a very difficult job. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bristol has been on the job of breaking the ice for several says now trying to free a cargo ship from thick ice outside of Ashtabula, Ohio.
Now comes the Canadian Coast Guard to the rescue. The two countries Coast Guards will be working together to finish the job as soon as possible, Lake Erie, officials say. The trapped cargo boat known as the Arthur M. Anderson, is still completely immobile in the frozen waters farther east near Conneaut Harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Bristol Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaker which is based in Detroit, is doing a very slow job in getting to the cargo vessel having to deal with 8 to 10 feet of ice in some portions of the lake and also with floating ice fragments, accumulating as high as 5 to 6 feet in some places. Foods were flown to the stranded vessel. Around 100 pounds of food was hoisted down to the crew to augment the depleted food supply.
Meanwhile, the 234-foot multi-mission medium icebreaker Canadian coast Guard Ship Griffon was called on to assist the Bristol Bay. The two ships will try to break the ice to Cleveland, where the Bristol Bay will take on more fuel and supplies. The Griffon will then be on its way east to free the Anderson so it can go on its way to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for the winter.
Rear Adm. Fred Midgette, commander of U.S. Coast Guard 9th District, said the U.S. and Canada have a “strong ice-breaking partnership.”
“Both countries coordinate closely to respond to these extreme ice conditions across the Great Lakes,” Midgette said. “Our goal is to get the commercial traffic moving and keep it moving, so we will keep working to achieve that goal.”
Meteorologists have predicted more ice on the Great Lakes this season due to successive winter storms which lead to rapid ice formation.