The Coast Guard has begun ice-breaking operations on the Penobscot River for the winter season.

Winter along the Penobscot River features regular visits from the U.S. Coast Guard and their fleet of ice-breaking vessels. The UCG Thunder Bay, recently made its first trip of the season up-river to Bangor. 140-foot cutter is a regular fixture of flood mitigation efforts on the Penobscot.

Footage from the mission was condensed into a 30 second time-lapse, which was shared on Facebook. You can watch the video, here.

Ice-breaking efforts appear to be off to an early start this season. Last winter, ice-breaking operations on the Penobscot began in February. Ice-breaking helps prevent flooding during the spring thaw along the Kenduskeag Stream, and other areas along the Penobscot River.

According to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard, "There is a lot of training, preparation and maintenance that goes on throughout the year to ensure we are ready to answer the call during what we call 'ice season'", said Chief Petty Officer Shae Currington, the officer in charge of Coast Guard Cutter Shackle. "The crew takes pride in providing responsive action to the members of our communities, whether it be a fishing vessel beset by ice or flood relief along the Penobscot River."

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The U.S. Coast Guard prioritizes search and rescue, ice rescue, and assisting vessels beset by ice. On average, the Coast Guard assists over 100 vessels that become stuck in ice yearly.

The UCG Thunder Bay is homeported in Rockland, Maine.

15 Must-Have Items For Ice Fishing Season In Maine

Ice fishing is an excellent way to embrace the cold winter months in Maine. It will get you outdoors for some fresh air, it's family friendly, and a successful day could yield a tasty dinner. If you're new to the sport, we put together a list of gear you'll need for a fun, comfortable, and successful day on the ice. Some of these items are more essential than others. Some gear may not be essential at all, depending on how you plan to fish. Again, the items we listed are geared towards those who are new to ice fishing.

Before we get to the list, remember to dress appropriately for the cold weather. We didn't put warm outerwear on the list, but it's definitely a must-have. Dressing in layers is important to ensure you're warm enough throughout the day on the ice. If you start getting too warm, you can simply take a layer off. Hand warmers are also worth packing.

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