As of today (to my knowledge) there are 5 Canadian Coast Guard Icebreakers involved in the rescue effort on the Front (the ice pack along the Northeast Coast and part of the East Coast of Newfoundland). The Terry Fox is the newest one involved in the rescue. So far there is one heavy icebreaker, two mediums, two lights, and an ice-reinforced vessel. As far as I can tell they are the following ships:
- CCGS Terry Fox: This is one of two heavy Gulf icebreakers in the fleet. She left Halifax, currently her base of operations, yesterday and is rapidly steaming north along the West Coast of Newfoundland. As of 1200Z this morning she was west of Cape Anguille. She’ll probably start by helping vessels in the Strait of Belle Isle, then will move into the Northeast Coast from the northwest, which seems fairly clever to me. First, this may be the fastest way to get into the northern ice on the Northeast Coast, where many boats are stuck. Second, the ice will be moving generally east in the next while, and she’ll be more mobile than the other breakers. Third, because she’s the strongest icebreaker involved, she can make forays into the field from the west independently.
- CCGS Des Groselliers: This is one of four medium Gulf/River icebreakers in the fleet. Based with the Quebec fleet, she was working in the Strait of Belle Isle recently, escorting boats to harbour.
- CCGS Henry Larsen: This is the second of four medium Gulf/River icebreakers in the fleet. Based with the Newfoundland fleet, she was working on the northeast coast recently, successfully escorting some boats to harbour. Currently she is just east of Cape Freels between the Northeast Coast and the East Coast.
- CCGS Ann Harvey: This is one of ten Light icebreakers, and is based with the Newfoundland fleet. She has been working off the northeast coast, and was stuck for a while last week.
- CCGS George R. Pearkes: This is the second of ten Light Icebreakers, and is based with the Newfoundland fleet.
- CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell: An Offshore Ice Strengthened Multi Patrol Vessel. She was working along with the Harvey and the Larsen last week. She was stuck in the ice on Wednesday, but was freed the next day.
Also, the CCGS Cowley, in the same class as the Grenfell, was sent north to help, but probably isn’t going into the pack (my brother-in-law was onboard doing some work and was talking to some of the crew). I’m pretty sure other non-icebreakers are up there near the edge of the pack with food, fuel, and equipment, waiting to help ships near the eastern ice edge with fodd, water, fuel, and with damage to the ships..
Update on Weather and Ice——————————–
The wind forecasts are almost unchanged from my earlier message. Captain Penney of the Coast Guard (as read from cbc.ca) believes that much of the real progress will start Tuesday or Wednesday, after the southwesterlies have had a chance to act. My guess is that most of the emergency will be winding down by Thursday.
As of yesterdays ice analysis map the ice field is forcast to move 5 nautical miles East for the Northeast Coast and the East Coast, and much of the South Labrador Coast, unless there are islands or coast to block movement. For the Strait of Belle Isle the ice will maintain some pressure along the Newfoundland side, but not to warning status.
Here are the current ice conditions:
FICN18 CWIS 231330 Ice hazard bulletin for the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador issued by Environment Canada at 1400 UTC Monday 23 April 2007 for today and Tuesday. The next scheduled bulletin will be issued at 1400 UTC Tuesday. No warnings in effect unless noted. Light to moderate ice pressure may occur in any ice conditions. Ice edge estimated from Newfoundland near 4725N 5245W to 4720N 5220W to 5005N 5250W to 5025N 5425W to 5345N 5210W to 5630N 5755W to 6200N 5840W then northeastward. Sea ice west of ice edge. Strait of Belle Isle. 8 tenths first year ice including one tenth of old ice. Northeast Coast. 6 tenths first year ice including one tenth of old ice. East Coast. Special ice warning in effect. 3 tenths first year ice including a trace of old ice within ice edge except 9 tenths first year ice with one tenth of old ice in southern Bonavista Bay. Bergy water elsewhere. Unusual presence of first year ice in Trinity Bay and Conception Bay.
South Labrador Coast.
8 tenths first year ice including a trace of old ice.