Supplied by the US Coast Guard…
Sault Sainte Marie, MI – U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Saint Marie officials are coordinating icebreaking operations on Lake Superior in preparation for the 2019 Shipping Season.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw, Alder, and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Samuel Risley transit up bound through the Sault Locks tomorrow. 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, MN to prepare the twin ports for commercial vessel departures. After a crew change, CCGS SAMUEL RISLEY will make her way to Thunder Bay, ONT to begin icebreaking work there. Although not limited to a specific area, the three icebreakers, joined later by other icebreaking assets, will focus initial icebreaking activities on the western Lake Superior ports of Superior WI, Duluth, Silver Bay, Taconite Harbor and Two Harbors in Minnesota, and Thunder Bay, ONT. This work will expand and eventually encompass Marquette, the Keweenaw Waterway, and Chequamegon Bay. The icebreaking work in these latter areas will not begin until the end of the month. Specific public notices will precede icebreaking work planned for each of these areas.

The Coast Guard recommends that members of the public who recreate on the ice, particularly those who fish, or operate snowmobiles or all – terrain vehicles on ice-covered waters of western Lake Superior, plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and stay away from charted shipping channels. Ice breaking activity can weaken ice far beyond the tracks created by the cutters.
It is also recommended users stay tuned to local media resources for the status of regional waterway closures and future planned ice breaking operations, and follow media notification and social media outlets @USCGGreatLakes on Twitter, use caution near the ice.