Heavy winter weather on the North American Great Lakes placed two cargo ships in difficulty just before Christmas. On 22 December 2010 the US Coast Guard cutters Biscayne Bay and Mackinaw were dispatched to break ice in the lower end of the Rock Cut in Michigan’s St Mary’s River to free the 730ft by 75ft bulk carrier Cedarglen. It took approximately 19 hours before the Coast Guard ships were able to free the bulker, allowing it to continue its voyage to Port Cartier, Canada.

Less than 24 hours later the Coast Guard was notified that an articulated tug/barge (ATB) set comprising the barge McKee Sons and tug Invincible had run aground on the Detroit River. It required seven tugboats and took two days to free the vessel, which had been attempting to dock at the DTE Energy Company power station.