Canadian Coast Guard continues its icebreaking work

Ships Samuel Risley and Griffon busy escorting vessels and maintaining shipping routes

CCGS Samuel Risley freed the 1,000-foot ship James R. Barker which was beset in ice in the southeast bend of the lower St Clair River January 4, 2018.

In this extreme cold, the Canadian Coast Guard is hard at work in southern Ontario from the St. Clair River to the western basin of Lake Erie. The Canadian Coast Guard Ships Samuel Risley and Griffon are escorting commercial vessels through ice-choked waterways as well as maintaining shipping routes and reducing the risk of flooding posed by ice jams.

In a concentrated effort, the crew of CCGS Samuel Risley conducted icebreaking operations to clear a significant ice jam in the St. Clair River at East China Township. The effort helped to relieve near-flood-stage water levels throughout the St. Clair River while re-establishing current and ice flow in the area.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley as viewed from Marine City Michigan on the St. Clair River Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. Photos courtesy of Don Detloff (used with permission).

The Canadian Coast Guard works in close partnership with the United States Coast Guard to provide icebreaking services.   Both Coast Guards continue to work with industry 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 response incidents or other urgent or humanitarian emergencies.

The Coast Guard reminds ice surface users that all ice on or near the shipping routes and icebreaking operations should be considered unsafe. Ship tracks may not freeze over immediately and newly fallen snow may obscure tracks. Changes in weather contribute to unsafe ice conditions.

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