Ice in Canada St Lawrence River Traps Ships Including Icebreaker

Last update: January 27, 2009 - 10:47 AM

MATANE, Quebec - Ice in the St. Lawrence River has trapped three ships carrying a total of about 500 passengers including an icebreaker sent in to unblock the waterway.

A cruise ship with about 300 people on board is among the three stuck since Monday at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River near Matane, Quebec.

Leonard Arsenault, a spokesman for the cruise ship CTMA-Vacancier, says passengers were being transported to the Gaspe Peninsula from Montreal for a week-long ski trip in the Chic-Choc mountains.

A coast guard icebreaker was sent to free the cruise ship and a freighter that was also trapped, but it got stuck in the ice.

There are about 500 people aboard the three vessels, says Arsenault.