Updated: 04/07/2014 6:16 PM
Created: 04/07/2014 5:29 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
Divers took a dip in the icy Duluth Harbor Monday afternoon to make rudder repairs to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay.
It's just another day at the office, but in a wetsuit for James Morris and his diving crew. He said it is tough diving into an icy harbor.
“Fighting through, a lot of times, in the dark with limited visibility and being cold or every sense you have is on overload because you're not in your original environment,” Morris said.
The divers were welding some bolts onto the rudder of the Morro Bay. Morris said they have dealt with ice before, but it's special here in the Northland.
“We've broken ice before in Baltimore, Philadelphia to dive, but the thickness of it is a little different to us here,” Morris said.
Thankfully the dive suit can combat the frigid waters in Duluth.
“We have hot water pumps to the diver so being cold is not an issue at all,” Morris said.
The Coast Guard still doesn't know why the rudder bolts broke, but the ship's Executive Officer Dan Swaim said the ice has been rough on everything this winter.
“My captain likes to say that it's like living in a rock tumbler. If you can picture a cement mixer full of gravel that's what it sounds like day in and day out when you're trying to sleep. It can wear on you. You can get pretty tired. It's mentally exhausting,” Lt. j.g. Swaim said.
He said the crew was thankful for a break, but after a week docked next to the DECC they are itching to get back on the lake.
“We're all looking forward to getting the repairs done and getting back out there and getting into the fight because we have our shipmates that are out there that are breaking ice right now,” Swaim said.
He said if the repairs go smoothly the Morro Bay could leave harbor on Tuesday evening.
The Morro Bay was commissioned in 1980. Swaim said the rudder repair and some upgrades planned for this summer should keep it sailing for another 15 years.
Pride Parade is Twin Ports' Biggest Yet
As hundreds gathered to watch the Duluth Superior Pride Festival's annual parade Sunday, many of those marching said it was moving to see such a wide base of support.
1 Injured in Crow Wing County Crash
A Brainerd man was injured when he lost control of his car and crashed on Highway 210 near Riverton Sunday. The Minnesota State Patrol said the accident happened just after 10 a.m. The man suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Storms Light Up Skies Over Lake Superior
Storms moving across Lake Superior lit up the skies in Duluth on Sunday. WDIO Photographer Jamie Merideth captured the sight from West Skyline Parkway around 8:40 p.m.
Minnesota State Fair Sets All-Time Attendance Record Saturday
The Minnesota State Fair experienced a record-breaking day on Saturday. Fair officials said 252,092 people attended, breaking the all-time record for the highest attended single day in the fair's history. As of Saturday, people visited the fairgrounds nearly 1.5 million times this year.
St. Paul Police Defend Officers in Stun-Gun Video
The St. Paul police union is defending three officers caught on camera using a stun gun on a man who was sitting in a downtown skyway. The man said he did nothing wrong. Police say he refused "numerous lawful orders for an extended period of time."