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Ice Navigation

1. Ice is of direct concern to the navigator because it restricts his movements.

2. It affects his dead reckoning by forcing frequent changes of course and speed.

3. It affects plotting by altering the features of landmark.

4. It hinders the establishment and maintenance of aids to navigation.

5. It affects the use of electronic equipment by affecting propagation of radio waves.

6. It produces changes in surface features and in radar images.

7. It affects celestial navigation by altering the refraction and obscuring the horizon.

8. It affects charts by introducing several plotting problems.

1. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) sub-committee on Ship Design and
Equipment (DE) is developing, along with assistance from DNV and others, a
mandatory code for ship's operating in polar waters known as the 'Polar Code'.

2. On 14th January' 2011 development of a mandatory code for ship's operating in

Polar waters was discussed.

3. Polar Code Boundaries for the Artic and Antartic were decided.

4. The Polar Code is applicable for cargo ship's of 500 GT and above and passenger
ship's operating in the Artic and Antartic areas.

5. New ship's constructed on or after 01st Jan' 2017 will need to comply with this code
on delivery.

6. Existing ship's constructed before 01st Jan' 2017 will need to comply with this
requirement by the 1st Intermediate or Renewal Survey of the Safety Construction
Certificate whichever comes after 01st Jan' 2017

7. The Code consists of (2) parts :

Part 'A' - Mandatory requirements

Part 'B' - Guidelines
Part 'A' is further divided into :
Part '1A' - Safety Provisions &
Part ' 2A' - Environment related Provisions

8. The Code allows cargo ship's to obtain the Polar Code Certificate without an
onboard surveyor, if no additional structural modifications is required for compliance
with the Code.

9. The Code will address :

a) Ship's construction standards,
b) Polar safety equipment,
c) the requirements for a qualified ice navigator

Draft of the Polar Code :

1. Certification,
2. Design,
3. Equipment,
4. Operation,
5. Environmental protection,
6. Manning & Training

# Categories of Ship's operating in Polar water's :

A) Class 'A'
- Operating in waters with 10% or more ice.
- Ship's Type : Polar Class or equivalent.

B) Class 'B'
- Operating in waters with less than 10% ice, but which may pose a structural risk.
Ship Type : Assessment / Ice-strengthening.

C) Class 'C'
- Operating in waters with 0 to 10 % ice, but which does not pose a structural risk.
Ship Type : No Ice-strengthening.
# Stability of Ice Carrier's :
1. Rise of 'g' and loss of 'GM' due to ice accretion.
2. Intact stability Code Part 'B' - Chapter.6
3. Icing allowance should be included in the analysis of condition of loading.
4. New damage stability Booklet in line with Solas Ch.II -1

* SOLAS Ch.5, Regulations - 5,6, 31 & 32

# Important information to be analyzed before undertaking a passage

through High Latitude areas :
1. Determine the Class of the vessel, Class 'A' Polar (Class 1-7), Class 'B', or Class 'C'
and if certified for the planned passage for the intended time of the year.

2. If the vessel is certified to pass then check sailing direction and routing charts for that

3. Advise C/Eng in order to ensure heating system and required lube oil for machinery
on board.

4. Inform 3/off to check LSA & FFA procedure followed for encountering Ice. (Fire line to
be drained and valves left in open position).

5. Inform 2/off to monitor Ice reports and safety messages.

6. Chief Officer to ensure that there is sufficient warm clothing for the crew and de-icing
compound on board.

7. Refer to Polar Code with respect to Safety and Stability requirements.

8. Check if Charter Party additional requirements for this passage.

9. If required to have an ice navigator on board.

10. If it is necessary for Ice breaker to escort.

11. Person to be contacted in office if vessel requires further assistance during the

12. Life-boat heating arrangements to be checked.

13. Ballast tank air-bubbling system or anti-freeze liquid to be ready.

14. Heating arrangement for accommodation to be checked and anti-freeze liquid for
PV Breaker and Deck Seal.

15. Bridge sound surveillance system to be tested.

16. Gyro or Directional Gyro to be adjusted for speed and Latitude at frequent intervals.

17. Know the ship's maneuvering characteristics in ice, go at slow speed in order to
prevent ice damage.

18. Ship's stability to be kept in mind as this causes a rise of gravity.

Sounding to be taken at regular interval when plying in sub zero regions to

identify any damage or leak from tank due to ice.
Frozen pipelines are perhaps the most common damage that occurs. The pipelines should be
properly drained well in advance.
Deck-mounted winches and other sensitive equipment should be covered to avoid icing from
freezing spray. Hydraulic equipment should also be started several hours before use, in order to
achieve proper oil temperatures on hydraulic hoses before they are exposed to high pressure
Ice on deck should preferably be removed with wooden ice mallets, to avoid damage to the hull
paint coatings and also to prevent frozen and brittle metal from breaking. It is also recommended
to keep sufficient stocks of glycol and salt to remove and prevent ice build up.
Safety equipment should be checked frequently, including safety hand lines, if rigged.
Remember the fresh water tanks in the life boats.
Move anchors periodically in order to prevent chains and winches from freezing.
Alterations in speed and/or course should be considered to reduce the effects of freezing
Deck and navigation lights can easily be damaged by the cold and ice, and should be
checked frequently to ensure they remain in proper working order.

# Means for monitoring ice-accretion on ship's :

- There are several reasons for ice accretion, these are:

1. Spray hitting the vessel with air temperature being at least - 2 deg C

2. Fog freezing on the structure of your vessel.

3. Rain freezing on the structure of your vessel.

4.Seas entering your vessel and freezing-up.

5. Fresh water leaking or being discharged from a pipe on your vessel.

# If your vessel starts to ice-up through ice accretion then do the
following :
1. Turn the vessel around and head south towards a warm climate.

2. Minimize the spray coming onto your vessel by slowing your vessel down.

3. If your vessel is listing to starboard, then take the ice off the port side first, you will
give your vessel a bigger list, but the Centre of Buoyancy (COB) will move out also and
thus you will have a higher Righting lever.

# If you encounter ice accretion on your vessel that was not issued
with the shipping forecast, you must :
1. Inform all ship's in the area,

2. Contact the Coast guard.

- Never ever take chances with ice-accretion, this can and will severely affect your
vessel's stability, vessel's have capsized because of the ANGLE OF LOLL effect that
ice accretion has on the vessel, the vessel will become top heavy as the Centre of
Gravity (COG) nears / meets centreline above the Metacentre.

( The vessel will have an UNSTABLE EQUILIBRIUM )

# How will you go about preparing your vessel for navigation through
pack ice? What are the basic principles of working through ice with
and without ice-breaker assistance?
1. A large area of floating ice formed over a period of many years and consisting of
pieces of ice-driven together by wind, current, etc. also called as ice-pack.

2. Ice is an obstacle to any ship, even an ice-breaker, and the inexperienced navigation
officer is advised to develop a healthy respect for the latent power and strength of ice in
all its forms.
3. However, it is quite possible, and continues to be proven so far well-found ships in
capable hands to navigate successfully through ice-covered waters.

4. The first principle of successful ice-navigation is to maintain freedom of man oeuvre.

5. Once, a ship becomes trapped, the vessel goes where-ever the ice goes.

6. Ice Navigation requires great patience and can be a tiring business with or without
ice-breaker escort.

7. Experience has proven that in ice of higher concentration, four basic ship-handling
rules apply :
a) Keep moving - even very slowly, but try to keep moving,
b) Try to work with the ice-movement,
c) Excessive speed almost always results in ice damage,
d) Know your ship's manoeuvring characteristics.

8. Navigation in pack ice after dark should not be attempted without high-power search-
lights which can be controlled easily from the bridge.

9. In poor visibility, heave to and keep the propeller turning slowly as it is less
susceptible to ice damage than if it were completely stopped.

10. Propellers and rudders are the most vulnerable parts of the ship, ship's should go
astern in ice with extreme care - always with the rudder amid-ship.

11. All forms of glacial ice / ice-bergs, bergy bits, growlers in the pack should be given a
wide berth, as they are current driven whereas the pack is wind driven.

12. When a ship navigating independently becomes beset, it usually requires ice-
breaker assistance to free it. However, ships in ballast can sometimes free themselves
by pumping and transferring ballast from side-to-side, and it may require very little
change in trim or list to release the ship.

13. Masters who are in-experienced in ice often find it useful to employ the services of
an ice-pilot / advisor for transiting the Gulf of St. Lawrence in winter or an Ice-navigator
for voyages into the Artic in the summer.

# Master's Obligation upon sighting ice :

1. A Master should send an obligatory report made by all available means t ships in the
vicinity and to the nearest coast radio station or signal station.
2. The report should be made in english for preference or by the International Code of

3. If sent by radiotelegraphy, the message should be preceded by the safety signal

'TTT' & if by radiotelephony, the spoken word "SECURITE" , repeatedthree times in
each case.

4. Report Contents :

a) Ship's name and Port of Registry,

b) Date and GMT of the observation,

c) Type of Ice observed,

d) Position of Ice observed,

e) Concentration and thickness, if known,

f) Icebergs, size and shapes.

Note - Consider any ice to be dangerous ice for surface navigation in the sense that if
one piece of ice is sighted in an area, there is a distant possibility of another piece and
perhaps much bigger than the one sighted. It is very easy as well as dangerous to
underestimate the size of ice. Dangerous ice can, thus, be defined as any ice that
imposes risk to safe surface navigation.

For e.g - Brash Ice is not dangerous to surface navigation. However, what may have
been within its coverage area can be Growler which may not be detectable by radar.
Hence, all ice is dangerous to surface navigation.


9.2 Functional requirements

1 Systems for providing reference headings and position fixing shall be suitable for the
intended areas.

2 The navigational equipment and systems shall be designed, constructed, and installed
to remain operational considering the operational limitations of the ship.

3 Appropriate level of redundancy shall be provided for the navigation equipment and

9.3 Regulations/requirements (excerpts)

1. All ships shall be fitted with Class A automatic identification system (AIS).

2. Ships shall have access to ice information

3. Ships, as appropriate, shall be equipped with means for ice detection.

4. The following equipment shall [as a minimum] be installed on board, as follows: .

a. equipment capable of receiving and displaying ice imagery; (Note: SOLAS chapter IV
requires reception of weather information, including ice warnings, but this information is
only available as text and is not displayed as charted information.) .

b. at least one radar with enhanced ice detection capability