Canadian Coast Guard Prepares For Great Lakes Icebreaking Operations

The Canadian Coast Guard Ships Samuel Risley and Griffon escort a commercial ship through heavy ice on the St. Clair River Jan 15 2015. Photo credit: Richard Dompierre.
The Canadian Coast Guard, in partnership with the United States Coast Guard and the Ontario Provincial Police remind all recreational ice users to plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice and stay away from shipping routes and icebreaking operations throughout the Great Lakes.

In Ontario, Coast Guard icebreaking operations to assist commercial shipping will commence December 21, 2017.

These are the first of many ship movements throughout the winter months. Schedules and routes are subject to change with little or no notice due to weather, ice conditions, shipping schedules or other unexpected situations.

Broken and fragmented icy tracks left behind by icebreaking operations and other ship traffic may not freeze over immediately. In addition, newly fallen snow may obscure icebreaker and ship tracks.  Changes in weather contribute to unsafe ice conditions that may remain long after the ships have left the area.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s Central and Arctic Region will continue to work with industry in the coming months to ensure scheduled vessel traffic can move through the shipping channels and into and out of community harbours safely and efficiently. CCG vessels are also at the ready to respond to environmental response incidents or other urgent or humanitarian emergencies.