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Canadian Coast Guard Set to Kick Off St. Lawrence River Icebreaking

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 15, 2023

CCGS Mamilossa (Photo: Canadian Coast Guard)

CCGS Mamilossa (Photo: Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian Coast Guard announced it plans to commence spring icebreaking operations on the St. Lawrence River between Montréal and Québec on the morning of February 20, or sooner if the weather conditions were to create an increased risk of the stalling of coastal pack ice.

Icebreaking will continue thereafter on several streams, rivers, and river mouths in Quebec.

Annual operations on the St. Lawrence River, including those near Lac-Saint-Pierre, are designed to break coastal pack ice into smaller pieces, thus preventing large blocks of ice from drifting and blocking navigation channels. As for the icebreaking operations on the smaller rivers, they are designed to clear ice from the entrance of the tributaries to prevent ice jams and subsequent flooding that may occur during the spring thaw.

This type of icebreaking is carried out by Canadian Coast Guard air cushion vehicles (hovercrafts), the CCGS Mamilossa or the CCGS Sipu Muin.

Above normal temperatures have prevented the thickening of the ice pack and cause many cracks in it.

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