itCG – ice breaking begins, EPIRB rescue, arming helicopters, video of the year

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In this file photo, the Coast Guard Cutter Penobscot Bay clears a path through the icy waters of the Hudson River. The Penobscot Bay is on its way to the Great Lakes to augment the other eight ice breakers assigned to Operations Taconite and Coal Shovel. (USCG photo PA3 Mike Hvozda) Click the image to learn more about the Penobscot Bay.
In this file photo, the Coast Guard Cutter Penobscot Bay clears a path through the icy waters of the Hudson River. The Penobscot Bay is on its way to the Great Lakes to augment the other eight ice breakers assigned to Operations Taconite and Coal Shovel. (USCG photo PA3 Mike Hvozda) Click the image to learn more about the Penobscot Bay.
  • Ice breaking season officially got underway on the Great Lakes this weekend. Operations Taconite and Coal Shovel are designed to keep Great Lakes waterways open for commercial vessels during the winter season. Click here to learn more about Great Lakes ice breaking.
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  • An 80-year-old sailor is safe today thanks to the presence of an EPIRB (or, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) on his boat. Guardians at the Eighth District Command Center deployed an Air Station Houston helicopter and Air Station Corpus Christi rescue plane in response to an EPIRB distress signal. The aircraft found the sailor struggling to maintain control of his vessel in the Gulf of Mexico as a thunderstorm approached his position and rescued him.
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  • Connecticut residents can expect to see armed Coast Guard helicopters patrolling the skies over critical infrastructure like the Thames River (which houses both the Coast Guard Academy and the Navy submarine base at Groton), the oil terminals at the Port of New Haven and the Millstone nuclear power station in the coming weeks. The presence of machine guns on patrol is part of the expanding post-9/11 homeland security mission profile.
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  • Check back with Coast Guard Compass later this morning as we unveil the 11 finalists in our first Video of the Year contest. Get ready to vote on some great footage of rescues, drug busts and national security ops.

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