The Morro Bay homeports in Cleveland but is currently moored in Duluth. The ice breaker is scheduled to undergo in-water repairs on Sunday and Monday.
The Morro Bay suffered the rudder casualty while conducting ice-breaking operations in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and was towed to Duluth by the Coast Guard Cutters Alder and Katmai Bay.
Divers and Coast Guard naval engineers examined the Morro Bay and discovered that ice-breaking operations exacerbated an unknown, preexisting problem with several bolts that fasten the cutter’s rudder to the rudder post.
The problem ultimately resulted in the loss of five out of six bolts that hold the rudder in place. Naval engineers have continued to examine the data to effect repairs and ultimately determine the root cause.
If repairs go as expected, the cutter crew expects to be back underway immediately to resume ice breaking on the Great Lakes.
Thick in on Lake Superior have slowed ice clearing operations.