13 April 2014

[130414.EN.SEA] St Lawrence Seaway Opens To Navigation, But Harsh Ice Conditions Linger

THE St Lawrence Seaway, a system of locks, canals in east-central North America, is now open after accepting its first vessel of the year, despite challenging ice conditions in lingering winter weather.

The first ship to enter the seaway that permits passage from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes this year, the 11,372-dwt Danish chemical tanker Charlotte Theresa, bound for Toronto-area Mississauga on Lake Ontario.

Inchcape Shipper Services (ISS) eastern Canada manager Jason Skorksi said the start of the season has been and will be a challenging one due to heavy ice.

The Great Lakes St Lawrence Seaway System authorities have notified ships and vessel owners that upbound traffic is currently being processed in the Montreal/MLO section, with one-way traffic only and double pilotage is required. Initially, there will be daylight navigation only.

The Canadian ice breaker, Martha L Black, is working in the Montreal/MLO section; and two tugs are being employed in the South Shore Canal to keep the ice moving out. However, escorts are required for crossing the lakes, Lac St Louis and Lake St Francis.

Welland Canal has some ice pack above locks seven and eight, but these have caused no problems to date; and ice conditions on Lake Erie are greatly improved and convoys for transiting the lake are moving well.

Yet, Lake St Clair remains an area of concern due to ice sheets breaking away from shore, but so far there have been no problems, the statement said.

Another Canadian ice breaker, the Radisson, is moving up to work Whitefish Bay and lead convoys when needed; and two ice breakers are currently assigned to Thunder Bay and are working on breaking out the harbour. 


Source : HKSG.

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