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CCGS Samuel Risley’s annual icebreaking underway

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The CCGS Samuel Risley has left its berth in Parry Sound, heading northwest for its annual ice breaking operations.

Its destination is the North Channel, where it will clear the ice near Bruce Mines, Meldrum Bay, and Thessalon from April 8 to 9, allowing safe passage for commercial vessels.

Jeremy Hennessy with the Canadian Coast Guard’s Central & Arctic Regions says to get to those communities, the ship will take a different route this year. It will pass through Potagannissing Bay rather than around Manitoulin Island by way of Lake Huron.

While an icebreaker in action is a sight to see, Hennessy says to keep a safe distance.

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“If there’s an icebreaker in the area, leave the ice immediately, and avoid the ice long after the icebreaker has left, [as] unstable ice conditions usually persist long after the icebreaker has left the area,” says Hennessy. “If you’re travelling on the ice, make sure to leave a travel plan with someone, and make sure you have a proper cell phone, proper equipment.”

Hennessy says it will return to Parry Sound sometime around April 11, via Mississagi Strait, heading south of Manitoulin Island.

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