Coast Guard supports mission to break bay ice

CRISFIELD — The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Capstan, Cleat and Chock are working this winter to break ice and maintain navigable waterways from the Delaware River, through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, down to Tangier Island, Virginia.

The crew of the Baltimore-based Chock traveled to Tangier Island to break ice and aid residents by delivering groceries and medical supplies.

While assisting Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads, another crew was needed to take over the Sector Baltimore ice-breaking mission.

The crew of the Cleat left Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay to assist Baltimore during the Chocks’ deployment to Tangier Island on Saturday, Feb. 21.

“As the Coast Guard, we’re pretty limited in our ice-breaking assets,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer A. J. Pulkkinen, the officer-in-charge of Cleat. “So when the [Chock] went down due to mechanical issues, we came down from Delaware Bay to help them out in the Baltimore area.”

The cutters are all 65-foot, ice-breaking tugs and are designed to break ice up to 18 inches thick.

A feature video of the Cleat can be found here.

Raw video footage of the Cleat breaking ice can be found here.

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