Coast Guard icebreakers ready for another winter

CCGS Samuel Risley with USCG cutters Neah Bay, Bristol Bay and Morro Bay breaking ice jams posing a high risk of flooding for communities on the St. Clair River including St. Clair Township. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Coast Guard-Winter 2017-2018)

Two familiar Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers are assigned to the Great Lakes this winter.

Both the Griffon and Samuel Risley underwent refit and maintenance work to be ready for the icebreaking season.

According to the Chamber of Marine Commerce, commercial shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River supports $60 billion CDN in economic activity and 329,000 jobs in Canada and the U.S.

The Canadian Coast Guard said last winter was one of the most demanding icebreaking seasons to date on the Great Lakes.

The Canadian and U.S. coast guards directly assisted 637 ships on the Great Lakes including Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.

All ice surface users are reminded to plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and avoid shipping lanes and icebreaking operations.