Spring icebreaking on St. Lawrence River

From: Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard advises people living nearby or using the shores of the St. Lawrence River, that spring icebreaking operations are planned to begin at Gentilly, on Monday, February 24, 2020. The operations will take place over a few weeks. The date is subject to change without notice and icebreaking could begin a little later, depending on the Coast Guard’s operational needs or the weather conditions at the time.

These annual activities are intended to free the river from the fast ice that has formed over the winter. They will also clear the mouths of tributaries of their ice and thus prevent ice jams and flooding that may occur during spring break-up. The hovercrafts ─ CCGS Mamilossa and CCGS Sipu Muin ─ will carry out the icebreaking operation. A Coast Guard icebreaker may also be used to break up larger pieces of ice drifting in the channel.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that hikers, fishermen and snowmobilers stay off the ice if they see icebreakers or hovercrafts in the area. Ice movement can occur and pose a real danger to anyone in the vicinity. Persons who have left facilities or equipment on the ice should move them safely ashore before operations begin.

Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers are recognizable by their red hull with a transverse white stripe in the centre and a white chimney with a maple leaf. CCGS Mamilossa and CCGS Sipu Muin are air-cushion vehicles whose engines produce a noise similar to that of an aircraft.

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