Canadian, U.S. Coast Guards assisting commercial ships throughout the region
The Canadian Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard are conducting icebreaking operations to assist commercial shipping throughout the Great Lakes, including the St. Mary’s River.
Both coast guards provide icebreaking services to ensure safe navigation, prevent the formation of ice jams and flooding, and maintain open routes for maritime commerce.
One of the Canadian icebreakers working in the Sault Ste. Marie area is the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley.
The Samuel Risley is a familiar sight to Sault residents.
It’s officers and crew spent the week including Christmas Day assisting a freighter on southern Georgian Bay. This was the first of many icebreaking missions that has the Samuel Risley providing an essential service, keeping ships moving safely and efficiently throughout the winter months.
The Canadian Coast Guard has another icebreaker based in Ontario, CCGS Griffon.
The Canadian and United States Coast Guards work side by side on a daily basis along the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes, coordinating icebreaking activities in order to pool resources and increase efficiency.
Ontario Provincial Police remind recreational ice users that no ice is safe ice.
The OPP advises all to plan their ice activities carefully, use caution on the ice and stay away from shipping routes and icebreaking operations.
Broken and fragmented icy tracks left behind may not freeze over immediately. In addition, newly fallen snow will obscure icebreaker and ship tracks. Changes in weather can contribute to unsafe ice conditions long after icebreakers 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.
Coast Guard vessels are also at the ready to respond to environmental incidents or other urgent or humanitarian emergencies.