Hundreds of icebergs have drifted into major shipping lanes off Newfoundland, forcing ships to go far out of their way to steer clear of the massive ice mountains.
“It’s the only place in the world where icebergs intersect in a major shipping lane like that,” Gabrielle McGrath, commander of the United States Coast Guard International Ice Patrol, told the Star.com from her office in New London, Conn. “The ships are having to go out of their way to get around that iceberg limit … so it’s taking them a lot longer to get across the Atlantic.”
McGrath said 616 icebergs have already moved into the North Atlantic lanes so far this season, compared to 687 last year by the late-September season’s end. The influx started in late March, she said.
At the same time, an iceberg which has grounded in Newfoundland’s Iceberg Alley near the town of Ferryland, about an hour south of St. John’s, has become an instant tourist attraction, attracting thousands to see the towering blocks of ice.