Mammoth icebreakers are the key players in Arctic or Antarctic waters. What about the frozen rivers that can’t accommodate such big vessels?
Hovercrafts. These hybrid vessels carry out ice breaking on hard-to-access areas where conventional icebreakers are not capable of entering. Here is an amazing video uploaded on Youtube that shows the operation of the Canadian Coast Guard’s hovercraft CCGS Sipu Muin.
According to the Canadian Coast Guard, CCGS Sipu Muin holds a significant role in flood control activities by breaking up ice-covered rivers and shores along the St. Lawrence River.
Equipped with a crane capable of lifting up to 4 500 kg, this Air Cushion Vehicle is also has the capacity to carry any combination of cargo through areas that are not easily accessible.
The Canadian Coast Guard recently conducted spring ice breaking operations in several rivers in the country inlcuding the L’Assomption, Des-Prairies, Mille-Îles and Châteauguay Rivers, with help of its icebreakers inlcuding CCGS Sipu Muin.
Being an amphibious vehicle, the craft is useful in pollution clean-up operations and search and rescue operations.
Here is another video showing the ice breaking operation of CCGS Sipu Muin on the St-Francois river.
Built in 1998, CCGS Sipu Muin has a length of 28,5 m and a breadth 12 m, with a capacity to accommodate eight crew members.