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How icebreaking works

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaking program makes sure that marine traffic moves safely through or around ice-covered waters.

Transcript: How icebreaking works


Visual: A red and white animated Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker plows through ice heading off screen underneath the title “How Icebreaking Works.”

Narrator: The bow of an icebreaker is curved like the back of a spoon so that it can slide up onto the ice. The vessel’s impressive weight then crushes the ice from above.

Visual: A simplified animated icebreaker is shown, focusing on the bow of the vessel. The vessel then slides up onto the ice and moves downward, revealing water underneath. A curved arrow appears alongside the bow to illustrate the action.

Narrator: The vessel’s impressive weight then crushes the ice from above.

Visual: The icebreaker is shown from the front, breaking ice in a line.

Narrator: They clear a path for vessels to follow so they can navigate safely and efficiently.

They can also free a vessel that’s gotten stuck in the ice

Visual: A green and grey vessel follows behind the icebreaker as it clears a path through the ice. The view zooms in on the green and grey vessel as it moves through the water.

Narrator: Or break the ice in a harbour to allow safe access for vessels to navigate in and out.

Visual: The icebreaker clears a path through the ice in front of a wharf and city on the shoreline. Other similar paths are visible in a circular shape.

Narrator: The Coast Guard also uses hovercraft.

Visual: A red, white and black Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft is shown from above moving across ice. Cracks appear in the ice, spreading outward from the hovercraft.

Narrator: Their weight and speed creates strong waves that break ice into smaller pieces, allowing wind and currents to clear the ice away.

Visual: The hovercraft moves down a river across the screen from right to left. Snow and evergreen trees are visible on the shoreline.

The view then zooms in on the stern of the hovercraft. Illustrated blue lines in the sky and water accompany the explanation.

Narrator: Icebreaking plays an important role in preventing flooding by breaking ice into smaller pieces to ensure water continues to flow.

Visual: The hovercraft is shown from the front as it moves down the middle of an ice-covered river. Cracks appear in the ice behind and beside the hovercraft. Evergreen trees and snow is visible on shorelines on the left and right sides of the hovercraft.

Narrator: The Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaking keeps crucial marine traffic flowing, keeps mariners safe and helps resupply remote communities along our Arctic coast.

Visual: The icebreaker clears a path and passes by a dock at the shores of a remote community. It is followed by a purple and grey vessel, which stops at the dock and uses a small crane to unload cargo onto the dock.

Visual: A white logo appears on a black background, displaying “Canadian Coast Guard” in English and French.

Visual: A white logo appears on a black background displaying “Canada” with a Canadian flag graphic over the final “a”.

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