Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (February 10, 2021) – Every year, the community watches the Mobile Bay patrol the waters surrounding Sturgeon Bay. Last year, we received an invite to join the crew for an ice breaking mission!
Sturgeon Bay is a proud US Coast Guard City and the only one located in Wisconsin! Sturgeon Bay is also home to one of nine US Coast Guard Ice Cutters, the Mobile Bay.
The Mobile Bay’s primary mission is ice cutting on the Great Lakes and can be found sailing in the Northern areas near Green Bay, St. Mary’s River, and the Straits of Mackinac. Homeland Security and Maritime Law Enforcement are secondary missions of the 140-ft cutter. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ice cutters “use a low-pressure air hull lubrication or bubbler system that forces air and water between the hull and ice” to break up the ice in high traffic areas.
The USCGC Mobile Bay assists Sarter Marine Towing and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in ensuring that the Winter Fleet arrives safely for winter layup in Sturgeon Bay. The layup, or Winter Fleet, attracts hundreds of spectators every year. Approximately 11 – 22 freighters can be expected to make their way through the Sturgeon Bay canal January – March for annual repairs.
Last year (pre-COVID) the crew of the USCGC Mobile Bay invited our team on board for an afternoon of ice cutting in the Bay of Sturgeon Bay. While on board, we were able to oversee all operations of the Mobile Bay.