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Ice Operations


The Coast Guard’s Ice Breaking Mission

Frigid, sub-zero temperatures heighten the dangers for any operation. Adding hazardous icy waters and icebergs makes for treacherous conditions for maritime commerce.

To facilitate safe maritime commerce in icy waters and to protect communities in emergency situations, the Coast Guard conducts ice breaking operations in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions.

Beyond domestic operations, the Coast Guard operates the only U.S.-flagged heavy icebreakers capable of providing year-round access to the Polar regions.