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Ice Navigation in Canadian Waters

Table of Content

Published by:
Icebreaking Program,
Maritime Services
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6

Cat. No. Fs154-31/2012E-PDF

ISBN 978-1-100-20610-3

Revised August 2012

©Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2012

Important Notices – For Copyright and Permission to Reproduce


Cette publication est aussi disponible en français.

Any inquiries as to the contents of this publication or reports of errors or omissions should be directed to Icebreaking Program


Ice Navigation in Canadian Waters is published by the Canadian Coast Guard in collaboration with Transport Canada Marine Safety, the Canadian Ice Service of Environment Canada and the Canadian Hydrographic Service of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The publication is intended to assist ships operating in ice in all Canadian waters, including the Arctic. This document will provide Masters and watchkeeping crew of vessels transiting Canadian ice-covered waters with the necessary understanding of the regulations, shipping support services, hazards and navigation techniques in ice.

Chapter 1, Icebreaking and Shipping Support Services, pertains to operational considerations, such as communications and reporting requirements as well as ice advisories and icebreaker support within Canadian waters.

Chapter 2, Regulations and Guidelines provides a summary of information on regulations and guidelines for vessels transiting ice covered waters.

Chapter 3, Ice Climatology and Environmental Conditions covers information on the Canadian ice and weather environment.

Chapter 4, Navigation in Ice Covered Waters, is instructional in nature, with information provided to help familiarise inexperienced personnel with passage planning, navigation procedures in ice, vessel performance in ice, and other essential operating procedures.

Chapter 5, Ship Design and Construction for Ice Operations provides the mariner with basic information on engineering, hull and auxiliary systems for vessels operating in ice.


Nothing written here will have precedence over the Canada Shipping Act and the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, nor should the following material be quoted as representing them.

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