Hydrographic Engineering Icebreaking Operations

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Boating Services will have four vessels available during the 2020- 2021 ice season. We will be following all COVID 19 guidelines set forth by Governor Hogan. Currently, the COVID 19 guidelines do not impact our ice breaking plans. The icebreaking schedule listed below is the basic guideline to start the season noting that changes to the schedule may occur based on the severity of ice incurred this season. A heavy ice season may restrict our ability to reach every area on a regular basis due to each vessel's icebreaking capabilities, USCG restrictions, weather conditions, tidal levels and the possible need to relocate vessels to areas of greater need.

DNR ice breaking operations 

Requests for service should be directed to John Gallagher of Hydrographic Operations at 410-643-6521 or by cell phone 443-534-9610. You can e-mail the office John.Gallagher1@maryland.gov for specific instructions or emergencies. Information will be sent to the individual captains through our office.

We are encouraging all commercial watermen to move their vessels to areas near our Icebreakers or NRP patrol boat stations prior to freezing conditions.

  • M/V J.M. TAWES - Captain Lee Daniels – 100' Buoy Tender, 1000 HP-(18") of icebreaking capability -- Areas of responsibility will be Crisfield harbor; Small boat harbor; the east entrance in Smith Is.; Tylerton; Ewell; Deale Is. (Upper Thorofare); Nanticoke Harbor and Tedious Cr. to Lt. #1. The Tawes will also assist the USCG with emergency fuel deliveries in the Wicomico and Nanticoke Rivers as necessary. Primary responsibility is providing an open channel to Smith Is. Captain Lee Daniels can be reached at the office (410-968-1871) or the vessel’s cell (443-880-7950).
  • M/V J.C. WIDENER - Captain Jeff Lill - - 73' Buoy Tender 525 HP- (6-8") of icebreaking capability -- Areas of responsibility will include Annapolis Harbor; Back Creek; South River; Spa Creek to Truxton Park; Magothy River to Deep Cr. #1; Severn River to the Rt. 50/301 bridge and West River to # 6 Councillors Pt.
  • M/V A.V. SANDUSKY- Captain Shawn Orr - 80' Buoy Tender, 700 HP-(8") of icebreaking capability -- Areas of responsibility will include Kent Narrows; Rock Hall; Chester River to Cedar Pt.; Miles River to St. Michaels; Eastern Bay and Tilghman Cr.
  • BIG LOU – Captain Mike Simonsen - 52' Tug, 335 HP-(6") of icebreaking capability-- Areas of responsibility are: Knapps Narrows; Choptank River to Secretary; Broad Creek to Neavitt Wharf; Tred Avon River to USCG Station, Town Creek, Easton Point Landing; Cambridge Creek/Harbor, Little Choptank River, Slaughter Creek, Chapel Cove and Madison Bay.

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Fishing and Boating Services Ice Conference

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