Sarnia, Ontario – The Canadian Coast Guard, in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police, is advising the public of potentially unsafe ice conditions in the vicinity of icebreaking operations and shipping routes in the Great Lakes. Milder temperatures this winter have significantly reduced ice cover on the Great Lakes. However, icebreaking operations to assist commercial shipping may begin soon in certain areas of the Great Lakes. 

The following area will see icebreaking activity in the near future: 

Lafarge Terminal located in northern Georgian Bay / Whitefish River on or about March 16 2016, including all shipping routes to and from this area.  The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley will provide an ice escort for a tug and barge that needs to reach the Lafarge Terminal.

CCGS Samuel Risley will then proceed to Parry Sound Ontario, for a brief stop before continuing on to the Sault Locks and Lake Superior. 

Dates and routes are subject to change with little or no notice, due to weather, ice conditions, shipping schedules or other unexpected situations.

Broken and fragmented icy tracks left behind by icebreaking operations and other ship traffic may not freeze over immediately. In addition, newly fallen snow may obscure icebreaker and ship tracks and changes in weather contribute to unsafe ice conditions that may remain long after the ships have left the area. 

All ice on or near the planned shipping routes and icebreaking operations should be considered unsafe during and after ship transits through these routes. The Canadian Coast Guard and the Ontario Provincial Police are advising everyone to stay clear of these areas.