MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - March 19, 2015) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is working closely with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation in planning the spring 2015 icebreaking operations on both the Seaway and the Great Lakes.

The CCG is advising residents and visitors near the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway that annual spring icebreaking operations will begin on or around March 23, 2015.

  • The Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Martha L. Black, icebreaker, will enter the Seaway via the St. Lambert Locks (Quebec) as early as March 23 and make its way up the St. Lawrence River.
  • The CCGS Martha L. Black will be icebreaking in the Montréal to Lake Ontario area on or about March 24 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 April 2, 2015.
  • Other icebreakers will follow as required, making their way to the Great Lakes to provide additional icebreaking capacity to the area.
  • CCGS Griffon and CCGS Samuel Risley will continue to provide icebreaking services on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

The CCG strongly recommends that anglers, 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 2014-2015 winter has produced heavy and persistent ice conditions throughout the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. CCG 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 activities 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 activities should be considered unsafe.
  • CCG 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.


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Contact Information:

Carol Launderville, Communications Officer
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Canadian Coast Guard
Central and Arctic Region
(519) 383-1804