QUINCY (CBS) — Chief Adam Lewis and his crew onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Shackle have been taking a relentless crack at the ice.
WBZ-TV joined the excursion as they broke through layers of ice accumulated in the Weymouth Fore River in Quincy. It was the sound of much-needed help after a streak of arctic-like temperatures in New England.
“This past week we started breaking ice on Saturday morning and we encountered ice 12 inches thick,” explained Adams.
“We are breaking it up solely so that fuel heating oil can get into the Boston area and get the community the heating oil they desperately needed during these cold winter months.”
It’s all part of the Coast Guard’s regional effort called Operation Reliable Energy from Northeast Winters.
Barges in the area deliver everything from oil, kerosene along with fuel for power plants and public transit. Without this ice cutter, those barges would be relying on their own power and run the risk of getting stuck.
“I use my bow to break a path in and then I turn around and use what I have already broken up to create more speed. And it’s actually the weight of the vessel which breaks it so every pass you make creates a larger path,” Adams said.
Adams says as long as there is ice to break, his crew will be out here from sunrise to sunset.
“It’s unique in that you can see what you have done immediately. You look behind and say this is how I helped my community.”