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Water Cannon Through the Icebergs Of The Cape Cod Canal – Video

SANDWICH – Watching a boat with a water cannon fight its way past frozen chunks of ice in the Cape Cod Canal fits the narrative of a winter in which, just about every day, we’ve seen something we have never seen before.
cape cod canal
“They’re picking their way through the ice in the canal,” said Joseph Gary, the officer in charge of the Coast Guard Station at the Cape Cod Canal. Gary was watching a Sandwich Fire Department boat, with a full-blast hose, lead the way for a Coast Guard medium response boat, which he said is “not rated for ice.”

When the Coast Guard boat and the Sandwich Fire Department boat headed into Cape Cod Bay Wednesday morning for a false report of a vessel in distress, there was no ice in the Cape Cod Canal, said Gary.
Cape Cod canal froze
That was at 10:30 A.M.. When they returned in early afternoon, the tide had turned.

“When the tide turned, it brought all the ice in here from Buzzards Bay,” said Gary, who stood along the canal monitoring as the two boats, led by the Sandwich Fire Department boat with the powerful hose, worked through the floating icebergs.

Gary said he has been on the Cape for two years and has never seen the ice as it is now.

Getting back into the canal with the powerful spray of water running interference and breaking up the ice had not been tried before, said Gary. “If it didn’t work, we were going to sit out in the bay until the tide shifted,” he said.

It worked.


For more photos from across Cape Cod, please see Scenic Cape


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— Brian Tarcy


About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
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Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at

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