U.S. Coast Guard warns freighters to mind their wakes with high water levels

Freighters travelling through the Detroit River, Lake St.Clair and the St. Clair River are being advised to mind their wakes.

The warnings are coming from the U.S. Coast Guard, which is broadcasting these warnings through VHF radio. 

Water levels are nearly 41 centimetres higher than normal, so water splashing ashore from the wakes can be damaging.

According to Peter Berry, the harbour master at the Windsor Port Authority, people should look at areas where there might be structures, docks or homes where there's high water.

CBC News

"Going through, a captain could possibly be slow or move themselves over in the channel, so they're not pushing as much weight against the property," said Berry.

He said smaller watercraft also need to heed the warning.

"That wake is affecting the properties, the homes, the parks, the seawalls along the river and many times those walls are being breached and it is affecting somebody personally," he said.

But slowing down may not always be the answer for large freighters, according to Berry, because it can cause a larger wake sometimes.

Water levels haven't reached emergency levels where ship speeds need to be lowered, said Berry, but levels are expected to rise.