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Resupply ships stuck in Frobisher Bay due to ice conditions

Two resupply ships are waiting at the mouth of Frobisher Bay in Iqaluit because of tough ice conditions.

Icebreakers struggling to cut a path through ice pack

Two resupply ships are stuck in Frobisher Bay by Iqaluit. Coast Guard icebreakers have been struggling to cut a path for the ships, but ice is so thick that it's closing around the icebreakers before the ships are able to pass through. (CBC)

Two resupply ships are waiting at the mouth of Frobisher Bay in Iqaluit because of tough ice conditions.

In June, winds and currents pushed heavy ice in to the area.

Now, two Coast Guard icebreakers are trying to punch a path through for the resupply vessels. However, the ice is so thick that it’s even closing in around the icebreakers before the other ships can follow.

"Thirty miles of heavy ice to get to Pike-Resor Channel. And from Iqaluit you can see out your window … basically open water, but it's ice out of Pike Risser channel. Outside of that, that is where the heavy ice is," said Andy Maillet, who is with the Coast Guard's Arctic Operations Centre.

Maillet doesn't expect the ice conditions to get better until the middle of this month. Rain and drizzle have made navigation even harder by cutting down on visibility.

One of the sealift ships that has stalled belongs to Nunavut Sea Link and Supply. Manasie Mark, who is with the company, said people have been calling to ask where their sealift is.

"I usually answer them by letting them know the ice conditions are bad at the moment and they are trying their best to come up here. I know, or I am certain they are going to come here"

One of the sealift boats has been diverted to Kimmirut instead of waiting for the ice to go away.

The Coast Guard said they have not seen conditions like this since 2009.

Since Nunavut has no road links with the rest of Canada, all the communities depend on an annual resupply of goods and fuel from ships.

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