By Neil Schultheiss
The shipping season on the Great Lakes generally lasts nine months of the year. As early as December the lakes can freeze over and bring shipping to a halt.

When the lakes freeze, a special group of vessels are charged with the task of keeping the shipping lanes open. 

Ice breakers operated by the Canadian and U.S. Coast Guards spring into action to keep commerce moving. These high powered vessel are specially built with powerful engines and heavy hulls to break through the ice.

One of the unsung heroes of winter operations is the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley. While boatwatchers may be quick to recognize other icebreakers, the Risley is a power house that quietly goes about her job of keeping commerce moving

Copyright 2001, N. Schultheiss   All Rights Reserved.

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