New Practices Will Lead to Safer Passage in Arctic Waters

TSB Media
Friday, April 27, 2012

Highlighting the need for safer navigation in Canada’s Arctic, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its report into the August 2010 grounding of the cruise ship, Clipper Adventurer in Coronation Gulf, Nunavut (M10H0006).

 

"Our investigation determined there were problems with the vessel’s voyage planning but we also found that key safety information was not being proactively provided to vessels transiting the Arctic,” said TSB Investigator-in-Charge, Eric Asselin.  “Traffic in these fragile waters is increasing. Given the remoteness and unique navigation challenges, when vessels enter Arctic waters it is essential they know about hazards to navigation.”

 

On 14 August 2010, the Clipper Adventurer departed Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, bound for Kugluktuk, Nunavut. While transiting in mainly uncharted waters, the vessel ran aground on a shoal in Coronation Gulf, Nunavut; all 128 passengers were safely evacuated from the ship. The shoal had been discovered by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) vessel Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 2007 while it was conducting scientific research. However, the shoal was not marked on navigational charts and, upon entering Arctic waters, the Clipper Adventurer was not advised of a possible shoal in that location.

 

As a result of the TSB investigation, the CCG has committed to providing all vessels entering Arctic waters with crucial safety information via its NORDREG vessel reporting system starting in June 2012. The Canadian Hydrographic Service will establish a procedure so that navigational charts for Canada’s Arctic will be marked with reported hazards to navigation. This process is to be implemented in 2013.

 

"Our goal is to improve marine safety,” said Asselin. “I can say with certainty that this investigation will lead to improved safety in Canada’s Arctic waters.”

 

The full report can be found at www.bst-tsb.gc.ca.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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