[Watch] 1,000-foot Freighter Freed from Icy River

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The U.S. Coast Guard responded to — and freed — a 1,000-foot freighter stuck in the icy St. Mary’s River this weekend.

On January 15, the Cutter Mackinaw assisted the James R. Barker — a 40-year-old freighter that traverses the Great Lakes — which was stuck for about an hour, according to crew member Kevin Davis.

To free the ship, the Cutter Mackinaw traveled back and forth along one side of the vessel, widening the opening by crushing ice along the St. Mary’s River.  The river is located between Michigan and Ontario, flowing from Lake Superior into Lake Huron.

“They were ahead of us making a track and they came back and made a relief cut, then backed up again and continued,” Davis said.

From there, the freighter followed the Coast Guard ship as it cleared a path in the ice.  The crew got stuck a second time for about 30 minutes, before arriving at its destination in the Indiana Harbor.

Crew members aboard the James R. Barker documented the rescue through photos and a time-lapse video.  The footage was then shared on the U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes Facebook page.

A second time lapse, shared on Instagram by crew member Jake Kopras, showed extended footage of the journey through the icy river.

After a mild 2015-16 winter, Davis said this year has been particularly icy.  As a result, freighters have needed more help from the Coast Guard.

The crew of the James R. Barker is on its way back to Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. for layup. Members will be on break until the locks reopen in late March, while the ship undergoes scheduled repairs and maintenance.

Disclaimer: This video is intended for informational purpose only.  This may not be construed as a news item or advice of any sort.  Please consult the experts in that field for the authenticity of the presentations.

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Source: Benjamin Feinman on Facebook

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