Get off the ice, Ohio's coming through

Coast Guard warns western Lake Erie communities of upcoming commercial ice-breaking activity
Feb 21, 2014


The Coast Guard is advising residents of southern Lake Erie islands including Catawba Island, Ohio, that the commercial tug Ohio is scheduled to break ice from South Bass Island to Catawba Island Tuesday morning.

This ice-breaking operation does not involve a Coast Guard icebreaker; nonetheless, the Coast Guard is advising residents and visitors that any ice in the area may be particularly unstable and dangerous.

The tug Ohio will depart Cleveland Monday at about 1 a.m. and head toward South Bass Island, transiting between Kelleys Island and Middle Island.  The Ohio will later depart from Put-in-Bay in South Bass Island and head toward Catawba Island at about 10 a.m. with a barge in tow. The vessel will transit around the eastern portion of South Bass Island toward the Miller's Ferry Dock on Catawba Island following the Miller Boat Ferry Route. The vessels plan to remain in Catawba Island for 2 hours loading construction supplies. After loading, the vessels are expected to depart Catawba Island at about 1 p.m. In case of a delay loading at Catawba Island, the Ohio may depart Wednesday morning.

All transit times and locations are subject to change based on weather conditions.

All efforts are being made to limit the impact on winter activities on the ice, however the Coast Guard advises everyone to stay clear of this area.

Anyone participating in ice activities on the Great Lakes should follow the acronym of I.C.E.:

Information about current weather and ice conditions. Tell a friend of your intended destination. Know who and how to call for help.

Clothing that is appropriate for the activity. Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Choose bright colors and reflective garments to aid searchers if you should end up needing help.

Equipment to be safer on the ice. Always bring a life jacket, a compass or GPS, a means of communication, such as a marine radio, and screw drivers or ice picks, which may allow you to pull yourself out of the water should you break through.

For additional information on this project, contact Mark Nowakowski of HPH Mechanical at 419-843-2225.

Additional ice safety information can be found in the Coast Guard's "Think Twice with Ice" safety brochure.

- See more HERE



Who wins in this deal? The boat or the people? I can see somebody who cares nothing about being on the ice just out there to see if they can stop the boat.


What is this about anyway?


This year is the first time in over a decade ice has been safe enough for ice-fishing and ice travel among the Lake Erie Islands.

A construction company working at Put-n-Bay failed to get construction supplies from Miller Dock to Put-n-Bay prior to ice up-usually January 1st. The construction company tried a few weeks ago to break up the ice, but fishermen held their ground. While this may not be a Coast Guard operation, is the taxpayer paying for this early ice break up operation or is the contractor working at a Put n Bay dock paying? Thanks to his lack of planning, construction material was not delivered to the island prior to Lake Erie ice-up so the Coast Guard has rallied behind the early break up.


Why would they pick this route? The South Passage is open now half way to Catawba and will certainly open further tonight and tomorrow due to South West gale force winds. The tug could bring a barge with them, navigate thru the South Pass, trans port freight dock to dock(Catawba to South Bass)and break a very minimal amount of ice. One would think this would save the contractor a huge amount of money due to the time saved by the towing company. Ice breaking is slow and hard on equipment compared to navigating open water. Sportsmen and fun seekers would still have their ice to fish and play on. I am a licensed ice guide and this operation will bring a fast ending to our winter fishing operation let alone the vacation trips planned by anglers and their families to the area. Way to many people are affected by someones poor planning and bad luck. Has anybody thought about the impact on others.

Whiskey Tango F...

So much for the starve island yo-yo. Kelly's sounds screwed too. They could have gone from paladinos marblehead dock and affected NO ONE!


Time for a temporary injunction to protect the people from a corrupt contractor. Federal court injunction to cease and desist sound like an appropriate action.


Was heading over the Edison bridge last week and even as cold as it's been it looked like there were a few wet spots meaning thin ice anyway. I'm not a fan of fishing in the summer when it's warm so going ice fishing is DEFINITELY out of the question especially knowing that there's a chance that the ice isn't thick enough to be out there safely. I mean I guess if you're sitting in a boat on top of the ice that might be a different story. You'd look a little goofy but at least if the ice cracks under you, you're not going into the water, the boat will hold you up.

Whiskey Tango F...

If 17" won't hold you up then nothing will.

Licorice Schtick

Even if the tug makes it through, a channel full of 18" thick slabs of ice will not be terrible useful for most vessels and could freeze up again quickly. Could prove to be useless activity and everyone loses.


Why didn't they use an industrial Helicopter and get the supplies there weeks ago. This contractor is potentially liable for major lawsuits from a large number of people who are being harmed by his failure to plan.

Whiskey Tango F...

They already have an suv on the bottom, possibly other items according to rumor. They tried to build an ice road in the worst possible passage in the lake. It's not our fault they made deadline promises that they can't keep. We found MANY double layers of ice that we couldn't drill through. Wait until the ice breaker finds these 4' + thick areas. Very poor decisions combined with the worst winter in decades does not make their reputation any better.


Thanks for putting an early end to a great ice fishing season. Ice fishers have been giving a huge boost to the local economy and because a poor planning contractor is doing this he is ruining any more opportunities for my fellow ice fisherman and myself. Why not just wait a few more weeks when the ice will no longer be safe for fishing?