THUNDER BAY – Ice-breaking efforts to open the 2019 Great Lakes Shipping Season are underway. The CCGS Samuel Risley is making its way up the lake to Thunder Bay to begin icebreaking work.
The United States Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw, the Alder, and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Samuel Risley are transiting upbound into Lake Superior through the Sault Locks today.
The Mackinaw and Alder will transit the upper St Marys River, Whitefish Bay and then the ice-covered waters of Lake Superior in route Duluth, Minnesota, to prepare the twin ports for commercial vessel departures. After a crew change, CCGS SAMUEL RISLEY will make her way to Thunder Bay, Ontario, to begin ice-breaking work there.
Although not limited to any specific areas, the three icebreakers joined later by other ice-breaking assets, will focus initial ice-breaking activities on the western Lake Superior ports of Superior, Wisconsin; Duluth, Silver Bay, Taconite Harbor and Two Harbors in Minnesota; and Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The entire effort this year is being called Operation Taconite.
The campaign encompasses Lake Superior, St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, Georgian Bay, Green Bay, northern Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.