Faced with the court’s refusal to release him on bail, Steven Lefebvre settled with the law.
“The pack ice operation, scheduled for March 28 and 29, is not an activity authorized by the Canadian Coast Guard. The possibility of harsh weather conditions, water temperature, current strength, the presence of other vessels, and tides are important risk factors for participants. The Coast Guard, one of the reasons for which is the safeguarding of human life at sea, can not therefore recommend the holding of such fundamentally dangerous activities. The Canadian Coast Guard does not have the power to prohibit this type of activity, “the organization told Nouvelliste, by email.
The three adventurers advised the Coast Guard of their intentions. The latter recommended that they refrain from completing this project because of the various security reasons outlined above. A position that is far from shaking Frédéric Dion. “They strongly advised against doing it, as we strongly advise against anyone trying this. Like me, I would advise everyone to go to Antarctica solo. It’s dangerous, do not do that, “he drops. “We are professionals. I was in the navy. I sailed the river. Jacob is a security management professional for television shootings. Same for Dan. So all three of us have the equivalent of 20 years of experience in this kind of situation. We have an emergency measures plan that has been communicated to them “,
If they ever find themselves in trouble, the Coast Guard will obviously help them as much as possible. “The Coast Guard does not have a mandate to ensure the safety of individuals at events of this type. However, the Canadian Coast Guard has the responsibility and the duty to respond to search and rescue calls directed to it. ”
At this time of year, Canadian Coast Guard Rescue Vessels can not be used due to current navigational conditions in the Gulf and St. Lawrence River. Search and rescue is provided by icebreakers, rigid-hulls, hovercraft and helicopters. It works in partnership with other stakeholders such as the Sécurité civile, the Sûreté du Québec and the fire departments of the riparian municipalities. “We are proud of this responsibility, but like all stakeholders, we can not be everywhere.”
But Frédéric Dion assures that the Coast Guard and its partners will not have to intervene. “We have to be completely autonomous, that is, to ensure our own safety. We do not want the Coast Guard to intervene. For us, it is totally impossible for these organizations to take care of us. ”
Everything has been designed so that the challenge unfolds safely, he says. “We have more communication and safety equipment than any kayak, canoe, rabaska or ice canoe. We have two emergency boats, traffic lights and a radio to be in permanent communication with pilots on the St. Lawrence River. They will always know where we are. We have a radar deflector, navigation lights. We do it, but we do it professionally. “They will wear a flotation jacket and a thermal suit. “We could swim the river with this equipment. We do not need the ice floe, but the challenge of doing so and getting there is interesting. ”
The Coast Guard, however, is concerned that this operation will interfere with navigation on the river. “Operation Banquise could lead to interruptions in maritime traffic. MCTS [Communication and Traffic Services] will have to communicate their position to vessels in transit to avoid incidents such as collisions. In addition, in the event that the Coast Guard should help them, it is the icebreakers that would be solicited; these are already busy with their icebreaking work. This unauthorized activity could lead to serious injuries, serious setbacks and complex logistics. ”
But Frédéric Dion assures that they will sail outside the channel. “There is not a boat that will be diverted for us.” But how will they control the pack ice? They have three options, says Frédéric Dion: paddles, a kite pull, and in case of emergency, an engine.
Remember that the three adventurers intend to cut a piece of pack ice with a power saw a little downstream of the Laviolette bridge, and then sail to Quebec. They plan to cross a distance of 125 km in 36 hours without a break. This is a preparation for their expedition en route to South America to be held next November. They want to reach the South America’s inner pole which is located in Brazil.
Frédéric Dion has accomplished many challenges such as skiing across the Antarctic, a 10-day solo stay in the Yukon and Northwest Territories forest, and running 33 marathons in 7 weeks.