Watermen Still Battling Ice Headaches - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Watermen Still Battling Ice Headaches

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TILGHMAN ISLAND, Md.- Work boats are slowly being broken out of the ice on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Although waterways were much clearer Tuesday than they were the week before, watermen are still struggling with ice being sucked up into their engines from the water and wreaking havoc.

"Running through the slush ice, we had an engine that started to overheat and we had to stop and change the impellers in the water pumps and free up the ice so that we could get water back into the engines to keep going," said Buddy Harrison Jr.  He told WBOC that replacing those parts in below freezing temperatures on the water was a challenge.

Water pump problems are a common problem that Louis Hardy sees at Composite Yacht, a boat maintenance shop near Cambridge.

"The ice and slush is getting inside of these blades and either ripping them to pieces or it's starving them of water and they are getting a bunch of friction built up and it breaks the blades off." said Hardy.

Large chunks of ice were flowing through the Knapps Narrows on Tuesday as the sheet of ice in the bay broke apart.  Harrison said it has been decades since the ice was this bad.

"The last time we've seen it this long dates back to the 70s.  I think the winter of '76 and the winter of '77.  We've had periods where we've had a couple of days of ice, but not like this." said Harrison.

Watermen say that although the ice is melting away for now, come Spring they will still be dealing with left over engine and hull damage.

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