As a Coastie, I have traveled the States for the past 20 years going from coast to coast and one amazing adventure to another.
Read on in this blog to hear stories about my experiences living the Coast Guard life, not only as a military officer but also as a small town Midwestern girl who left home to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about... My Coast Guard Career.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ice Breaking... Yes, it’s a job in the U.S. Coast Guard

The only job in the Coast Guard where it is acceptable to actually run into something with a boat is ice breaking. Ice breaking is one of the many missions of the U.S. Coast Guard but it often goes unnoticed to the average person.

When I was stationed up in the Northeast, I had the privilege of taking a large group of reporters out on an ice breaking operation on the USCG Cutter Shackle (see video). It is the most amazing thing to be onboard a boat that is going full speed ahead slamming into the ice and then backs up and rams the ice again. These small 65-foot small harbor tugs are tough and rugged enough to withstand the battering.
Although it may not seem logical for the U.S. Coast Guard to break ice, it is an essential mission especially to those who live along the coast of a river packed with ice. As warmer weather begins to thaw the ice, up river will thaw faster than down river and cause severe flooding in coastal areas. Breaking up the ice will allow the ice to move freely down river and out to sea preventing coastal flooding.
Breaking ice on a boat is a startling and bone rattling evolution but thrilling and awe-inspiring at the same time!


Karen Russell said...

Love the music on the video. ;)

Sue said...

Fun, Fun! Always thought it would be fun to be stationed on one of the Polars - although a 6 month deployment is a bit daunting.

Sue said...

You might have already found this site...podcasts, YouTube and other CG multimedia - might be great for your blog...