BOSTON - The ice was so thick in some coastal waters Monday, fuel barges couldn’t make it into harbors without the help of the Coast Guard.
After days of sub-zero temperatures, it was slow-going to break new paths through the fresh ice.
Chief Adam Lewis led the Shackle through the sheets of ice along Weymouth.
“By comparison to last winter, it's extremely harsh,” he told Boston 25 News aboard his boat.
While the conditions here may seem bad, it's not the worst of what they face out there. In some spots along the coast, the ice was 8-12 inches thick.
Breaking a path for fuel barges is an increasingly important task with heating oil in high demand.
The biggest impact of the ice breaking doesn't come from the front of the cutter. Rather, it’s the ship’s wake churning up the water behind it and lifting the ice to break it into pieces.
Charting out the shackle's trek through Boston's waters is seaman Steve Kinnon, from Lynnfield.
“Just a couple of days ago, my buddy said how he went to get gas they didn't have any at the gas station and I was like, ‘wow.’ To be able to get up here and break out the ice for the fuel barges and get the oil to them -- seeing it day in and day out -- It feels great,” he said.
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