Special Tangier Delivery by MD DNR Ice Cutter - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Special Tangier Delivery by MD DNR Ice Cutter

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 4:40 PM Updated:

CRISFIELD, Md. - For the first time since 2015, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources ice cutter, the J. Millard Tawes, station in Crisfield, cut through the ice Thursday to make a supply deliver to Tangier Island.

By the time the sun rose in Crisfield, the crew on the Tawes was already hard at work loading the supplies onto the deck.  Everything from pet food, to milk, to wood pellet fuel.  Normally, the Tawes will chew a path through the ice in the Tangier sound to allow for boat traffic between Crisfield and Smith Island.  But Thursday, a special trip was being made to Tangier, the first time the boat has been called to Virginia since 2015.  The supplies, including medicine and mail, needed to be dropped off.

But whether its cutting to Tangier, or to Smith Island, Tawes Captain Eddie Somers said the trips this winter have not been easy.

"These last couple of weeks of ice that we've had, I've been on the boat 27 years and it's the most and heaviest I have ever seen," Somers said.

The recent deep freeze has left Tangier frozen in place with ice still surrounding much of the island despite warmer temperatures the past few days.  Once that Tawes arrived in Tangier on Thursday, the boat was unloaded so the store shelves could once again be stocked, the medicine and mail could be dropped off.

Saturday, the Coast Guard dropped off supplies on Tangier in a black hawk helicopter.  And the Virginia National Guard has also been by the island to drop off food and supplies.  For folks on the island, it all comes with the territory.

"Island life," said Tangier Mayor, James Eskridge.  "This is all part of the game.  This is nothing new.  But we've got a lot of people from Maryland and Virginia to help us out and we really appreciate it."

Following the stop in Tangier, it was back to Crisfield for the Tawes and its crew.  Another long day on the water, cutting through the still frozen pieces in the sound.  The crew on board ready to do it all again tomorrow if they get the call.

 

 

 

 

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