MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - March 14, 2014) - The Canadian Coast Guard in partnership with the United States Coast Guard and the Ontario Provincial Police, is advising residents and visitors that annual spring icebreaking operations will begin on or around March 17, 2014, in Thunder Bay, on Lake Superior.

  • The United States Coast Guard Cutter Alder will assist with harbour breakout in Thunder Bay, in anticipation of the opening of the SOO Locks on St. Mary's River, scheduled for the March 25, 2014.

The Canadian Coast Guard 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.

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.

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.

For broadcast

Annual spring icebreaking operations are resuming on the Great Lakes. All ice surfaces near harbours scheduled for spring breakout and along planned shipping routes should be considered unsafe during and after icebreaking and shipping operations. The Canadian Coast Guard, the United States Coast Guard and the Ontario Provincial Police are advising everyone to stay clear of these areas.

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.


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Contact Information:

Rachelle Smith - Communications Manager
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Canadian Coast Guard
Central and Arctic Region
(204) 983-4197