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Coast Guard Cutter Damaged, Towed to Duluth

Updated: 03/28/2014 11:03 PM
Created: 03/28/2014 10:48 PM WDIO.com

Even with a warm up coming for the weekend, there's still several feet of ice on Lake Superior.

And ships are relying on U.S. Coast Guard cutters to break open a path. 

"Just from my three years of experience on [the USCGC Cutter] Alder, and just my experience this winter, this has been the worst ice conditions that I've seen," said Lt. Kenny Pepper, the captain of the USCGC Morro Bay. 

The Morro Bay was working on Lake Superior near Thunder Bay breaking ice when a propeller failed on the 140-foot bay-class cutter. After a more than 24-hour tow, the vessel made its way under the Aerial Lift Bridge around 6 p.m. Friday.

"We weren't able to maneuver on our own," Pepper said. "So we had another Coast Guard cutter tow us down here and we're going to have some divers come in and check it out and see if we can't affect repairs right here."

Lt. Pepper says they don't know for sure if the thick ice caused the failure, but should find out more when the divers get down there to check it out.

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