Marine Link
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ice Floe News

Russia's Floating Research Station Unfolds in the Arctic

Arctic Research: The University of Alaska Fairbanks

The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources says that Russia plans to establish a floating research station in Arctic sea. The floating research station “North Pole-41” is already in the making, says the Ministry statement. The Ministry says that the station will be an important instrument in securing Russian presence in the Arctic and will give Russia the opportunity to set new priorities for the scientific research on the drifting ice. "At present the deployment of seasonal scientific…

Programmed Multikopter Flies Autonomously Through Arctic

Alfred Wegener Institute programmed a Multikopter

How do you get an aircraft in the far reaches of the Arctic Ocean to the goal, if the compass does not provide reliable location data? Engineers aboard the research icebreaker Polarstern of the Alfred Wegener Institute programmed a Multikopter so that he can navigate near the North Pole, despite declination of the Earth's magnetic field. A first successful test flight together with autonomous landing celebrated scientists recently on an ice floe. "The autonomous navigation is in high latitudes is a major challenge…

ICEX Camp Operations Conclude Successfully

Ice Camp Sargo, located in the 		Arctic Circle, serves as the main stage for Ice Exercise (ICEX		) 2016 housing more than 200 participants from four nations 	over the course of the exercise. ICEX 2016 is a five-week 		exercise designed to research, test, and evaluate operational 	capabilities in the region. ICEX 2016 allows the U.S. Navy to 		assess operational readiness in the Arctic, increase 			experience in the region, advance understanding of the Arctic 	environment, and develop partnership

The Navy announced March 25 that all primary objectives for Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2016 have been met and the breakdown of Ice Camp Sargo is underway. "The objectives of demonstrating presence, gaining additional Arctic operational experience, furthering partnerships and expanding scientific research were all achieved over the four weeks in which the ice camp was operational. The hard work and dedication displayed by the Arctic Submarine Laboratory, the ICEX participants, and the shore support team made this event an overall success," said Vice Adm. Joseph E. Tofalo, commander, Submarine Forces.

Cracks Scuttle U.S. Navy Ice Camp

U.S. Navy Ice Camp Nautilus during Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2014. The camp is located on a sheet of ice adrift on the Arctic Ocean. ICEX 2014 is a U.S. Navy exercise highlighting submarine capabilities in an arctic environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Davies/Released)

Commander, Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) announced an early end to Ice Camp Nautilus on March 23. The ice camp was a temporary structure built and operated especially for Ice Exercise 2014 (ICEX-2014). Personnel at Ice Camp Nautilus, which is built into the ice floe north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, began a careful breakdown of the camp Sunday. ICEX-2014 began March 17 and was scheduled to continue through March 30. However, large shifts in wind direction created instabilities in the wind-driven ice floes of the Arctic Ocean…

Look Out Ice, Bombs Away!

Russian warplanes bombed an 80-km (50 mile) wide river ice floe on Thursday in an attempt to unblock a build-up of meltwater which has forced thousands of people from flooded homes in eastern Siberia, the Emergencies Ministry said. But spokeswoman Marina Ryklina said the water level remained critically high around the town of Lensk. Helicopters were still evacuating residents and delivering vital supplies to remote settlements along the Lena river. "Fighter planes have dropped another six bombs on the ice blockage, but the water level has not fallen," Ryklina said. "They've got generators to keep the hospitals running and there have not been any casualties. But the situation is bad, it is worrying," she said.

Drifting Arctic Tankship Gets Icebreakers Escort

Tanker Nordvik: Photo courtesy of Khatanga Sea Trade Port

The “Nordvik”, which had been drifting in remote Arctic waters following a collision with an ice floe, is now being accompanied by icebreakers to its home port, reports the 'Barents Observer'. Citing the Russian Sea and River Transport Agency, Barents Obsever says that a total of 1800 litres of diesel oil was transferred from the “Nordvik” into the tanker “Boris Vilkitsky”. The two vessels are now accompanied by two nuclear-powered icebreakers, the “Taymyr” and the “Vaigach”, out of the Matisen strait, bound for the tankship's home port of Khatanga.

Great Lakes Community Soon Treading on Thin Ice

US Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan advises of the dangers as increasingly warmer temperatures weaken ice. The Coast Guard warns that warmer temperatures present the possibility of extremely hazardous ice conditions throughout Lake Michigan, including Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, Lake Winnebago, and other surrounding bodies of water and harbors. Recent trends suggesting decreased stability of ice reveal a danger to citizens ice fishing or transiting on the ice whether by foot or snowmobile. “With the arrival of spring, ice will begin to melt and the risk for people to fall through or become stranded on an ice floe greatly increases,” said Cmdr. Erik Leuenberger, Sector Lake Michigan search and rescue mission controller.

USCG Conducting Ice Flushing Operations

 The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay conducts ice-flushing operations in the St. Clair River, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Ice flushing operations help keep brash ice from forming and encourages the flow of ice down river preventing possible flood situations. U.S. Coast Guard video by USCGC Bristol Bay.

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season begins and the ice on the Great Lakes dissipates. Ice breaking operations, above freezing-temperatures, and rain has caused plate ice to weaken, creating large and small ice floes through the Great Lakes and its river systems. The Coast Guard posted a video of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay performing ice flushing operations on the St. Clair river. You can see the video here.

USCG Flush Ice down River Systems to Facilitate Shipping

courtesy USCG

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season begins and the ice on the Great Lakes dissipates. Ice breaking operations, above freezing-temperatures, and rain has caused plate ice to weaken, creating large and small ice floes through the Great Lakes and its river systems. These ice floes, if not managed and flushed, can create thick brash ice that can clog the mouths and connection points of the rivers, which can cause significant flooding and block shipping channels.

Russian Arctic Scientists to be Evacuated

The icebreaker “Kapitan Dranitsyn” left Murmansk on August 4th to pick up equipment and personnel from the floating research station “North Pole-2015”

An icebreaker sailed from Murmansk yesterday to pick up 17 scientists after four months on an ice floe near the North Pole. The icebreaker “Kapitan Dranitsyn” left Murmansk on August 4th to pick up equipment and personnel from the floating research station “North Pole-2015”. The planned evacuation will take about two weeks, and the icebreaker is expected to return to Murmansk in mid-August, TASS reports. “The scientists have been able to get really valuable scientific data on biodiversity and signs of climate change in different environments…

Nichols Brothers Resumes Work

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders returned to work after the company laid off 185 employees Nov. 2. Shortly thereafter, the company filed for bankruptcy protection, a move necessitated by a big lawsuit filed by a disgruntled customer. While the bankruptcy issues are far from settled, Nichols Brothers was allowed to negotiate with individual boat owners to see that their projects, shut down on Nov. 2, could be completed. Those boat owners are now paying the workers’ salaries, as Nichols Brothers as a company is broke and is up for sale. The rehiring process will continue as more existing contracts are placed online though negotiations with individual companies.

Damaged Northern Sea Route Tankship Awaits Help

The fully loaded 6403 dwt tankship "Nordvik” hit an ice floe and started taking in water while sailing the Northern Sea Route (NSR) last week and as a result a ballast tank was holed reports the Barents Observer. The hole has been plugged with a cement box and the water ingress has stopped, reports Barents Observer citing the (Russian) Federal Agency for Sea and River Transport. The vessel is now drifting in the Matisen Strait, where the accident happened, waiting for another tanker to come and take the cargo. The ship owner Khatanga Commercial Port is negotiating with nuclear icebreaker operator Atomflot to have the tanker escorted to port in Khatanga.

Tanker Grounding Update

On behalf of the Unified Command, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) issued a Situation Report stating that the tanker Seabulk Pride grounded in Cook Inlet near Nikiski. No pollution was reported initially. The tanker was apparently pushed aground by an ice floe. A Second Situation Report states that several tugs and a response barge are being mobilized. A small amount of oil was spilled when the tanker was pushed away from its mooring by the ice. A Third Situation Report states that a towing and lightering plan is under development. A Fourth Situation Report indicates that two tugs are attending the tanker and more tugs are en route. Source: HK Law

U.S. Coast Guard Photo: CGC Morro Bay

Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay (approaching from right) returns home to New London, Conn., where they were greeted by friends, family members and loved ones on Apr. 19, 2001 after a six-month deployment to the Great Lakes. The crew broke ice in all five of the Great Lakes, not only ensuring the delivery of heating oil to those in the impacted area, but also acting as a search and rescue platform while on patrol, sucessfully rescuing a man who was stranded on an ice floe. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas McKenzie.

Antarctic Cruise Ship Freed by Navy Icebreaker

HMS Shacketon Leads 'Fram': Photo credit MOD

'HMS Protector' punched through thick Antarctic ice to help clear the way for cruise ship 'Fram' as ice floes gathered around the liner. The Portsmouth-based survey ship broke through ice up to four metres (13ft) thick to clear a way through the Antarctic Sound – a strait at the eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, 650 miles from South America – so the Fram could sail safely again. The Fram, which gives tourists the chance to sample the stark beauty of the frozen wastes…

Tanker Aground in Alaska

According to a Reuters report, an oil tanker with 360,000 barrels capacity was struck by an ice floe and ran aground today while loading oil products at an Alaska refinery, citing a state official and the refining company. According to the Reuters report, refinery owner Tesoro Corp. did not have an estimate of the amount of product released. The Tesoro-chartered double-hulled tanker, the Seabulk Pride, was loading heavy vacuum gas oil and unleaded gasoline from the refinery in Nikiski, Alaska, on the Cook Inlet. The ship was reportedly aground about half a mile north of the dock, and the vessel's tanks were reported to be secure.

This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History – January 25

1799- Having existed essentially nameless for 8-1/2 years, Alexander Hamilton's "system of cutters" was referred to in legislation as "Revenue Cutters."  Some decades later, the name evolved to Revenue Cutter Service and Revenue Marine. 1940- The ocean station program was formally established on 25 January 1940 under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt. The Coast Guard, in cooperation with the U. S. Weather Service, were given responsibility for its establishment and operation. The program was first known as the Atlantic Weather Observation Service and later known (and "beloved') by thousands of Coast Guardsmen who served after World War II as the "Ocean Station" program.

This Day in Coast Guard History – Jan. 25

1799- Having existed essentially nameless for 8-1/2 years, Alexander Hamilton's "system of cutters" was referred to in legislation as "Revenue Cutters."  Some decades later, the name evolved to Revenue Cutter Service and Revenue Marine. 1940- The ocean station program was formally established on 25 January 1940 under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt. The Coast Guard, in cooperation with the U. S. Weather Service, were given responsibility for its establishment and operation. The program was first known as the Atlantic Weather Observation Service and later known (and "beloved') by thousands of Coast Guardsmen who served after World War II as the "Ocean Station" program.

Arctic Research Ship Scientists on Thin Ice

Polarstern Backdrops Scientific Expedition: Photo credit Alfred Wegener Institute

Return to Bremerhaven: The research vessel 'Polarstern' returns with new findings from the Central Arctic during the 2012 ice minimum. After a good two months. Since its departure from Tromsø (Norway) on 2 August 2012 Polarstern has travelled some 12,000 kilometres and conducted research at 306 stations. These included nine ice stations where the ship moored to an ice floe for several days to examine the ice, the water beneath it and the bottom of the sea. Many measurements were concerned with responses to the rapid retreat of the sea ice this summer.

Update: Chinese Icebreaker Stuck After Rescue

Chinese rescue helicopter lands: Image courtesy of Australian Antarctic Expedition

According to a Reuters report, the Chinese icebreaker that helped rescue 52 passengers from a Russian ship stranded in Antarctic ice found itself stuck in ice on Friday, January 3, 2014. According to the Reuters report, Snow Dragon had ferried the passengers from the stranded Russian ship to an Australian icebreaker late on Thursday. It now had concerns about its own ability to move through heavy ice, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said. The Australian icebreaker carrying the rescued passengers…

Bristol Harbor Group Designs Two NYPA Tugs

Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) was recently awarded a contract by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to engineer, design and perform construction supervision support services for two new tug vessels. The tugs will be used primarily for deployment, retrieval and maintenance of an ice boom annually installed near the outlet of Lake Erie to help protect NYPA’s hydroelectric plant intakes on the Niagara River from heavy ice floes. The designs are expected to be completed in 2014. The vessels will be specially reinforced for operations in seasonal ice.

Greenpeace Demands the Arctic be Protected

Greenpeace maintains that what happens in the Arctic affects us all. Besides acting as a planetary air-conditioner, the region is a bellwether for the health of our climate and the global ecosystem. As the ice melts and is replaced by large patches of dark, open water, even more of the sun’s heat is absorbed and the melting increases. The Arctic is warming faster than any other place on Earth. Ice is disappearing at unprecedented levels and with it the habitat of species like the polar bear, while the way of life of the four million people who live above the Arctic Circle is changing forever. But rather than seeing this as a clear warning and spur to positive action…

Keppel and ConocoPhillips to Build Arctic Jackup

Keppel and ConocoPhillips to design first ice-worthy jackup rig for the Arctic Offshore. Joint project will yield breakthroughs in offshore Arctic drilling. Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Centre (KOMtech), a design and engineering arm of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), and ConocoPhillips are jointly designing a first-of-its-kind ice-worthy jackup rig to operate in one of the harshest marine frontiers, the Arctic Seas. This jackup rig will have dual cantilevers to optimise drilling operations within a limited time window. The rig is capable of operating in a self-sustained manner for 14 days and is equipped with a hull that is designed for towing in ice.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News