Fisheries and Oceans Canada



Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 19, 2014 15:15 ET

Notice of Public Interest: Spring Icebreaking Operations Along the St. Lawrence Seaway

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - March 19, 2014) - The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is working closely with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation in planning the Spring 2014 icebreaking operations in both the Seaway and on the Great Lakes.

The Canadian Coast Guard, in partnership with the United States Coast Guard and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), is advising residents and visitors near the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway that annual spring icebreaking operations will begin on or around March 21, 2014.

  • The Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Martha L. Black, icebreaker, will enter the Seaway via the St. Lambert Locks (Quebec) on March 21 and make its way up the St. Lawrence River.

  • The CCGS Martha L. Black will be icebreaking in the Brockville (Ontario) area on or about March 22-23 and will proceed to Lake Ontario, where it will then assist with harbour breakouts in Picton (Ontario) and Bath (Ontario). Once these harbours have been opened, the CCGS Martha L. Black will return downriver to assist with shipping in anticipation of the official opening of the Seaway, currently scheduled for March 31, 2014.

  • The CCGS Pierre Radisson will enter the Seaway on March 24, making its way to the Great Lakes to provide additional icebreaking capacity to the area.

The CCG strongly recommends that fishermen and snowmobilers and other recreational users leave the ice immediately if they see an icebreaker in the vicinity. The ice may move or break apart even at a significant distance, creating a hazard for anyone in the area of an icebreaker. All personal property, temporary structures and recreational equipment, should also be moved to shore well before these dates.

All dates and routes are subject to change with little or no notice due to operational requirements or sudden and significant changes to weather and ice conditions.

The 2013-2014 winter has produced unusually heavy and persistent ice conditions throughout the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Canadian Coast Guard crews and icebreakers have been working hard to provide icebreaking services during such a challenging time.

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.

Quick Facts

  • Icebreaking operations and shipping traffic create fragmented ice or open water that may be: difficult to see from afar; may be obscured by newly fallen snow; may not refreeze immediately and may be further weakened due to changes in weather.

  • Icebreaking creates locally unstable ice conditions or open water that may persist long after ships have left the area.

  • All ice near icebreaking operations and shipping activity should be considered unsafe.

  • Canadian Coast Guard and United States Coast Guard assets in the Great Lakes are working hard together to maintain or open routes for maritime commerce, despite extreme and persistent ice conditions on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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Contact Information

  • Rachelle Smith, Communications Manager
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Canadian Coast Guard
    Central and Arctic Region
    Rachelle.Smith@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
    (204) 983-4197