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Coast Guard Cutter Bollard Breaking Ice on Connecticut River in Middletown

The 65-foot harbor tug, originally stationed in New Haven, is working to maintain the river's flow toward the Sound in an effort to prevent possible flooding and damage to homes and property.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi Senior Chief Aron Brewer, officer in charge of Coast Guard Cutter Bollard, looks on as the vessel breaks ice in the Connecticut River north of the Haddam Bridge. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi Senior Chief Aron Brewer, officer in charge of Coast Guard Cutter Bollard, looks on as the vessel breaks ice in the Connecticut River north of the Haddam Bridge. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
By Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi

As a part of the Coast Guard’s Operation Renew, the Coast Guard Cutter Bollard has been temporarily relocated from New Haven to Middletown.

"The Coast Guard's domestic icebreaking operations are intended to facilitate navigation within reasonable demands of commerce and minimize waterways closures during the winter, while enabling commercial vessels to transit through ice-covered critical channels," said Chief Warrant Officer Kary Moss, Coast Guard Sector New York's Aid to Navigation and Ice Officer.

"In addition to our icebreakers, the Coast Guard Auxiliary conducts daily reconnaissance flights, providing updated information about ice conditions, which is then transmitted and posted to the Homeport site for waterway users." 

The CGC Bollard, a 65-foot harbor tug, services aids to navigation and breaks ice in Long Island Sound and the attached rivers. CGC Bollard crews service 115 different aids to navigation, the most of any 65-foot cutter in the New England area. The CGC Bollard is a critical icebreaking asset in small harbors and rivers due to its shallow draft and high maneuverability. 

“We repositioned CGC Bollard to Middletown so we are able to have quick access to our aids to navigation on the Connecticut River,” said Senior Chief Aron Brewer, Bollard’s officer in charge, “and also to be in the best spot to conduct ice breaking operations that keep the waterways open for commercial shipping activity.”

Ice operations are one the Coast Guard’s eleven statutory missions. 
The First Coast Guard District, headquartered in Boston, has numerous icebreaking assets which assist in keeping channels and harbors open to navigation when necessitated by the demands of commerce as well as responding to search and rescue. 

Icebreaking requests are considered for our waterways necessary to facilitate commerce. 

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