by the DOOR COUNTY MARITIME MUSEUM
Haldon D. Wilson III, USCG, Ret., contributor
Tied up at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay is the red and gray tug, Erika Kobasic. Built for the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939 at Gulfport Boiler & Welding Works, and named USCGC Arundel, the vessel was built as an icebreaking and harbor tug. Initially stationed in Boston, Massachusetts, during World War II, the tug moved to New York, New York, in 1945. The tug spent time in the Northeast until transferring to Chicago, Illinois, in 1952. The tug was retired in 1982 after 43 years of Coast Guard service, and her as surplus.
In 1983, Canonie Transportation purchased the tug and it was renamed Karen Andrie. In 1990, Basic Marine of Escanaba, Michigan, purchased the tug and renamed it Erika Kobasic. The Erica Kobasic is currently used as a commercial icebreaker and provides tug services in Sturgeon Bay, Marinette and the bay of Green Bay.