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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Media Advisory - Update on Seaway Closing (January 6, 2018)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018



January 6, 2018 -


The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) reports that the vessel Federal Biscay has been safely and successfully freed from the U.S. Snell Lock, where it had been immobilized in ice for the
past several days. After a major effort over the past 24 hours to melt the ice around the vessel using pressurized steam, the vessel exited the lock earlier this afternoon with tug assistance. The vessel is now tied up along the upper approach wall to the lock.

The effort to free the vessel lasted several days and involved the hard work of many individuals under severe weather conditions. This included dedicated SLSDC work crews, technical experts from the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), the vessel operator (Fednav, Ltd.) and numerous contractors. High-pressurized steam was the primary method used to melt the ice surrounding the vessel.

In addition to the Federal Biscay, there are four commercial vessels that must still transit downbound (eastbound) through the U.S. Seaway locks towards Montreal to exit the Seaway. These vessels are already
positioned to allow for as safe and expeditious lock transit as possible. The SLSDC will issue another advisory when all five vessels have cleared the U.S. locks and have exited the U.S. sector of the St.
Lawrence Seaway.