By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -
As the Coast Guard works to keep waterways clear of thick ice for maritime commerce, one local businessman said he believes the Coast Guard is helping drive him out of business.
The ice around the docked "Gregory Busch" tugboat is intact. And Greg Busch, the tug's captain, said that shouldn't be the case. In the winter his boat doubles as an icebreaker.
Busch claims ice-breaking work done in the Saginaw Bay Friday by the Coast Guard could have and should have been work for his guys.
"We shouldn't have to compete with a free service done by the government," said Busch.
The Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock led the freighter "Alpena" from the Saginaw Bay to the Saginaw River Friday. Work done while Busch, who says he's been breaking ice for 40 years, sat and watched. He claims Friday's work could have been a substantial part of his winter income, an income that has been struggling the past couple of years.
"Currently, I have three employees laid off, and it's been a slow year for us economically," said Busch.
TV5 called the Coast Guard to figure out what procedures they follow pertaining to ice-breaking.
"The Coast Guard or Canadian Coast Guard resources will always be used to break 'tier 1' or 'tier 2' waterways, and what that means is the major waterways and in today's story, we're talking about Saginaw Bay," said Coast Guard Lt. Justin Westmiller with the Sector Detroit Public Affairs Department.
Westmiller said once the ship makes it to the so-called 'tier 3' waterway, in this case the freighter making it to the mouth of the Saginaw River, the work is typically handed off to private companies. But Westmiller said in this case, the captain of the freighter told the Coast Guard he no longer needed ice-breaking assistance.
"The Coast Guard is always willing to turn over business to commercial entities as long as it's safe to do so and it's prudent to do so," said Westmiller.
But still, Busch said he thinks this policy needs to be reviewed.
"The American taxpayers are footing the bill for the ice-breaking while an American company is basically sitting idol at the dock and was denied the opportunity to do the business," said Busch.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:07 AM EDT2013-05-22 12:07:29 GMT
A man killed in a motorcycle crash over the weekend has been identified. The Saginaw News reports that 51-year-old Paul Neuman was operating the bike when it crashed on Tittabawassee Road near HackettMore >
A man killed in a motorcycle crash during the weekend has been identified.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 17:21:07 GMT
Police in Saginaw responded to the scene of a shooting overnight on the city's west side. The shooting happened just before 3 a.m. Wednesday off of North Woodbridge Street, between Hayes and Throop Streets.More >
Police in Saginaw responded to the scene of a shooting overnight on the city's west side and the victim has been identified.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:01 PM EDT2013-05-22 17:01:00 GMT
Authorities say a 37-year-old man is dead after being hit by a pickup truck while stopped along the side of a mid-Michigan roadway to check on another motorist. The Isabella County sheriff's departmentMore >
Authorities say a 37-year-old man is dead after being hit by a pickup truck while stopped along the side of a mid-Michigan roadway to check on another motorist.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:03 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:03:12 GMT
Two Michiganders are the most recently christened millionaires in the state, thanks to the Powerball lottery. Kristen Martin purchased her winning Powerball ticket on a whim. Not one to typically purchaseMore >
Two Michiganders are the most recently christened millionaires in the state, thanks to the Powerball lottery. More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 4:29 PM EDT2013-05-21 20:29:45 GMT
While Oklahoma is no stranger to powerful tornadoes, Mid-Michigan has seen only a handful of EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes. According to the City of Ann Arbor's government website, since 1882, 343 people haveMore >
We've all seen the incredible images out of Oklahoma where an entire subdivision was wiped off the map by a tornado and at least 24 people were killed - but what if a tornado that large struck Mid-Michigan?More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:55 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:55:51 GMT
More wet weather is blowing through Mid-Michigan and plenty more is on the way as we head into Wednesday evening. TV5 Meteorologist Catherine Bodak says a large low pressure system will bring the potentialMore >
More wet weather is blowing through Mid-Michigan and plenty more is on the way as we head into Wednesday evening.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:03 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:03:06 GMT
A family spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the body of a missing Eastern Connecticut State University student was found dismembered. Alyssiah Wiley was last seen since April 20 when she said she wasMore >
A family spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the body of a missing Eastern Connecticut State University student was found dismembered.More >