Iceberg count almost 1,000: ice patrol

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Iceberg Alley off Newfoundland has been an especially dangerous stretch this year with almost 1,000 icebergs counted in North Atlantic shipping lanes since February.

Gabrielle McGrath, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard’s International Ice Patrol, said Monday it’s already among the top 20 most severe ice seasons on record since 1900.

A final ranking won’t be known until later this year as some bergs are still drifting south, she explained.

“There are definitely a lot still in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and near the entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle and then up along the Labrador coast,” she said in an interview.

The gigantic slabs of prehistoric ice break off from Greenland glaciers then move south. They drift in whatever direction the currents and winds take them.

The count continues but it’s so far the 18th worst ice season on record, McGrath said.

“Considering that number goes back the whole way to 1900, even the 18th most severe is still pretty significant when you’re looking at 117 years of data.”

In 2014, there were 1,546 icebergs in the shipping lanes, making it the sixth highest count since 1900. There were 1,165 icebergs in 2015.

The International Ice Patrol was formed after an iceberg sank the Titanic in 1912. It works with Canadian partners to track conditions, including using surveillance flights, and update mariners.

McGrath said the patrol has a perfect safety record for those who heed its warnings. As of Monday, there were about 12 icebergs drifting through the shipping lanes off eastern Newfoundland.

McGrath said a series of low-pressure systems last spring drove hundreds of icebergs close to shore along with unusually thick sea ice.

The height of the ice season is typically in late May or June but several bergs along Newfoundland’s eastern coast have lit up social media this month.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Judge allows Mr. Big evidence in murder trial

Two men accused of triple-murder admitted their involvement to undercover police

Red Deer agency supporting for LGBTQ2S+ youth

New report on LGBTQ2S+ youth from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

Four people arrested after gas and dash

Four people were arrested after an alleged gas and dash in two… Continue reading

Arrests made at Red Deer Rebels game

Charges pending against two people

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month