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Time-lapse video shows U.S. Coast Guard ship cruising through Soo Locks

The USCGC Alder and USCGC Hollyhock moored up in St Ignace, Mich., for logistics.

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By BRANDON CHAMPION | MLive.com | Published: April 9, 2020

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (Tribune News Service) — Seemingly everything is closed amid the outbreak of COVID-19 in Michigan.

But not the Soo Locks.

Shipping continues to be a vital part of America’s supply chain and as the gateway between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes, the locks in Sault Ste. Marie are more important now than ever.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder isn’t primarily used for supplies, but its crew shared an awesome time lapse video of the 225-foot vessel traveling through the Soo Locks on Wednesday, April 8.

“Today we locked through the Soo Locks and are working buoys in the Upper St. Mary's River before moving on to Lake Superior,” the crew wrote on Facebook. “Looking back over the last few weeks we worked buoys by Chicago, Milwaukee, Charlevoix, the Straits of Mackinac, St Ignace and throughout the St Mary's River.”

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You may have seen the Alder’s work playing “the world’s largest claw game” to retrieve a sunken buoy from Lake Michigan. The move through the Soo Locks marks the end of the crew’s semi-annual migration south for the Lake Michigan buoy run.

The crew also shared several photos of their work in Lake Michigan where the saw desolate islands, picture-perfect sunsets at anchor and a shared pier with theur sister ship the USCGC Hollyhock, where social distancing was practiced.

“Over the next couple of weeks, we are gearing up to finish strong in Lake Superior and cannot wait to show you more of what we do on a daily basis,” the crew wrote.

With a home port in Duluth, Minnesota, the USCGC Alder’s primary missions are aids to navigation, ice breaking, law enforcement, and search and rescue.

It is primarily responsible for Lake Superior and upper Lake Michigan but operates throughout the Great Lakes.

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