U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breakers make their run up the Penobscot

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 8:11 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) -It’s a great day to break the ice!

Four U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breakers set out on the Penobscot River, to clear the way.

Crews on THUNDER BAY, SHACKLE, TACKLE, AND BRIDLE made their way up the river from Bucksport.

Although the winter has been a little lighter for ice than past winters, the extreme cold last weekend made for some thick ice.

U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Dan Jones said, “So, for the ice thickness for today, we’re looking about 8 to 12 inches of ice. Few places were jamming out and seeing over a foot of ice which pretty significant of how quickly that formed. We were ice free last week and seeing 8 inches form in just a single weekend is pretty crazy.”

Jones said ice breaking operations remain constant through the winter, which helps clear water for commerce traffic and to reduce flooding.

But, they can’t just come out whenever they want.

“We’re normally out here every other week during the winter. We’re very tidal in how we wait. We have to look for a high tide up here in Bangor during the day and we got to have the flushing time. So, guys going out going with us in the afternoon to help flush all the sites out of here. We can’t really come up here when there’s low tide,” said Jones.

With cold temperatures and having to sometimes chisel away at the job, it can be a tough task.

But, Jones adds that it’s not all hard-chips and no play.

“Oh yeah, it’s super fun. Yeah, we love, we live for this. This is our Super Bowl and everyone else will be watching it, we’ll be doing in here,” said Jones.