Coast Guard icebreaking operations underway in Great Lakes

SARNIA–The Canadian Coast Guard in partnership with the United States Coast Guard and the Ontario Provincial Police have an important safety message for all ice surface users in the vicinity of icebreaking operations and shipping routes in the Great Lakes.

Broken and fragmented icy tracks left behind by icebreaking operations and other ship traffic may not freeze over immediately. Newly fallen snow may obscure icebreaker and ship tracks and changes in weather contribute to unsafe ice conditions that may remain long after the ships have left the area. All ice on or near the planned shipping routes and icebreaking operations should be considered unsafe during and after ship transits through these routes.

Icebreaking operations may begin as early as December 20, 2013 in Serpent Harbour in the Whitefish River area in the North Channel of Lake Huron. The USCG Cutter Biscayne Bay will be escorting the M/V Alpena into this location on Saturday, December 21, 2013.

Public service announcements made prior to impending icebreaker and shipping activity are issued for the safety of all ice surface users who can expect disrupted and unstable ice conditions related to icebreaking and shipping operations.

Dates and routes are subject to change with little or no notice due to weather, ice conditions, shipping schedules or other unexpected situations.

Please post and share with fellow ice surface users, so all surface users this winter may enjoy a safe winter season.