Icebreaking Efforts Starting on Lake Superior

Thunder Bay on March 10th from onboard Wasaya Airways Dash 8 Aircraft
Thunder Bay on March 10th from onboard Wasaya Airways Dash 8 Aircraft

STANDALONE PHOTO -- The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder breaks ice near a windsled Wednesday, April 3, 2013 near the harbor in Bayfield, Wis. on Lake Superior. The Madeline Island ferry plans to resume running on Friday. Most traffic across Lake Superior between Bayfield and Madeline Island is either via the ferry or, in the depths of winter, the ice road. But when the ice is either breaking up or settling into its winter thickness, people can get across only by the wind sled - an enclosed boat-hulled craft with huge fans on the back that push the vehicle across the shifting ice.. The wind sleds are usually in action for 10 to 14 days at the beginning of winter and about a week in the spring, though the duration varies each year. MARK HOFFMAN/MHOFFMAN@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder breaks ice near a windsled Wednesday, April 3, 2013 near the harbor in Bayfield, Wis. on Lake Superior.

THUNDER BAY – Icebreaking efforts in Thunder Bay are getting underway.

The Canadian Coast Guard in partnership with the United States Coast Guard have an important safety message for all ice surface users in the vicinity of icebreaking operations and shipping routes on the Great Lakes. Icebreaking operations to assist commercial shipping are currently underway in various areas of the Great Lakes.

Thunder Bay on March 10th from onboard Wasaya Airways Dash 8 Aircraft
Thunder Bay on March 10th from onboard Wasaya Airways Dash 8 Aircraft

The following areas will see icebreaking activity in the near future:
Icebreaking operations will begin March 15 2016 for the Port of Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Lake Superior.

The USCGC ALDER (WLB 204) will break and establish tracks in the ice to assist commercial shipping into and out of the port. The US Coast Guard cutter, homeported in Duluth, MN, plans to work Thunder Bay Harbour and the Mission River Entrance 15-16 March 2016.

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. 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.