TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - You may have noticed the Coast Guard Ice Cutter with a Detroit Tigers flag on the front of it docked downtown Tuesday night.
The 140-foot ice breaking tug paid Toledo a visit to do some training missions this week. The all-male crew of 35 was in town to practice worst case scenario exercises, as are required by Washington.
"We are the only ones that can save ourselves so we have to maintain proficiency for fire in the engine room or any space in the ship. Or potentially, flooding. We practice man overboards in case a crew member falls overboard or if we have to actually respond to somebody else that's in the water," explained executive officer of the ship, and second in charge, Lieutenant Matthew Saldivar.
The crew said they make it to Toledo at least a few times per year. Their trips involve not just ice breaking, but also keeping navigational maps of the river up to date, law enforcement, search and rescue, as well as more fun public affairs events.
"We always have to practice that it is going to happen any time and usually, some type of emergency will happen in the middle of the night or when we least expect it. But so far, in the last year, we've had, knock on wood, zero casualties," said Saldivar.
They'll be back in a few short weeks to change out the buoys for ice buoys with slick surfaces that are meant to withstand the weather.
Toledo is happy to have the added military presence when they're doing such a great job at keeping the public and our waters safe.