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Maryland Icebreaker Comes to Aid of Tangier Island

J. Millard Tawes Clears Ice for Neighbors in Need

Photo of ice in Tangier SoundThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources buoy tender M/V J. Millard Tawes conducted emergency icebreaking operations to Tangier Island, Virginia, answering a call for help from our neighboring state. The crucial mission helped deliver food, fuel, mail, medications and other essential items to the island, which like nearby Smith Island, Maryland is usually only accessible by water. The Tawes sailed from Crisfield Thursday morning following a request coordinated through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard. Additional photos here.

Photo of Crew loading supplies on the icebreaker J. Millard Tawes at CrisfieldThe boat, captained by Eddie Somers (pictured above loading supplies), cleared ice, up to 10 inches deep, in Tangier Sound. On arrival, a crowd of more than two dozen Tangier Island residents welcomed the crew and helped offload the supplies.

Photo of ice-breaking from inside cabinThe 100-foot Tawes, which regularly clears ice between Crisfield and Smith Island, is one of four ice-breaking vessels stationed by the Maryland Department of Resources around the Chesapeake Bay every winter ice season – the buoy tenders John C. Widener in Annapolis and A.V. Sandusky in Kent Narrows, plus the tugboat Big Lou in the Choptank River.