stuff from the International Ice Patrol / icebergs in the North Atlantic
SUBJ: INTERNATIONAL ICE PATROL (IIP) BULLETIN
1. 28 JUL 09 1200 UTC ESTIMATED LIMIT OF ALL KNOWN ICE:
FROM 4725N 5241W TO 4715N 5100W TO 4715N 4800W TO 4800N 4715W
TO 4900N 4715W TO 5245N 5015W TO 5600N 5600W.
2. THIS IS THE FINAL BULLETIN OF THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL ICE PATROL
SEASON. IIP THANKS YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION IN REPORTING ICE
SIGHTINGS, SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES, AND WEATHER INFORMATION
DURING THE 2009 SEASON. WE REQUEST THAT YOU CONTINUE TO
ADDRESS ICE SIGHTINGS SOUTH OF 50N TO COMINTICEPAT GROTON CT.
PLEASE ADDRESS OTHER ICE SIGHTINGS AND REQUEST FOR ICE
INFORMATION TO THE CANADIAN ICE SERVICE OR NGA NAVSAFETY BETHESDA
3. USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN NEAR THE GRAND BANKS AS ICE MAY
[The Titanic struck her iceberg in The Grand Banks.]
REPORT POSITION AND TIME OF ANY ICE ENCOUNTERED
TO COMINTICEPAT VIA CG COMMUNICATIONS STATION NMF, NMN,
INMARSAT CODE 42, OR ANY CANADIAN COAST GUARD RADIO STATION.
MAKE UNCLASSIFIED SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE AND WEATHER
REPORTS TO COMINTICEPAT EVERY SIX HOURS WITHIN LATITUDES 40N
AND 50N AND LONGITUDES 39W AND 57W.
4. ICEBERG CHART FACSIMILE BROADCASTS ARE AT 0438Z, 1600Z
AND 1810Z ON FREQUENCIES 6340.5, 9110.0 AND 12750.0 KHZ.
5. ADDITIONAL ICE PRODUCTS AND A SURVEY REGARDING IIP'S
SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE AT WWW.USCG-IIP.ORG.
INTERNATIONAL ICE PATROL THANKS YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION IN REPORTING ICEBERG SIGHTINGS, SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES, AND WEATHER INFORMATION DURING THE 2009 SEASON. WE REQUEST THAT YOU CONTINUE TO ADDRESS ICEBERG SIGHTINGS SOUTH OF 50N TO COMINTICEPAT GROTON CT. PLEASE ADDRESS OTHER ICEBERG SIGHTINGS AND REQUESTS FOR ICE INFORMATION TO THE CANADIAN ICE SERVICE [Service canadien des glaces].
A bulletin from the end of the last season of North Atlantic icebergs from the International Ice Patrol.
The IPP is run by the USA Coast Guard, but funded by 13 nations with commercial interests and activities in Atlantic Ocean shipping.
The IPP was founded and began reporting icebergs in the North Atlantic within a year after the sinking of the White Star passenger liner RMS Titanic, 15 April 1912, on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England. Radio -- Morse code only -- was the state-of-the-art technology for notifying ships of icebergs in the shipping lanes. (The radio operators on The Titanic heard but ignored iceberg warnings from nearby ships.)
Since then the IPP uses satellites and faxes for communications, and for iceberg reconnaissance patrols uses military propeller aircraft based in Newfoundland, Canada. The headquarters of the IPP is in Groton, Connecticut USA.
Notice the large numbers of icebergs near the Atlantic coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. Polar bears do not naturally live in or hunt in Newfoundland, but several times each year a polar bear will hitchhike on an iceberg from Labrador and get off in Newfoundland. One of them tried to rip the shell off the park ranger's house trailer at l'Anse Aux Meadows (Viking settlement archeological site) to get at the meaty inside, but the ranger phoned for help, and the polar bear was returned to his home in Labrador.
The Arctic Circle is just north of the northern coast of Iceland, which is at 66° North Latitude. This map doesn't try to survey all North Atlantic icebergs, but rather concentrates on Europe-North America shipping lanes -- where the ships are, rather than where all the icebergs are. The IPP's charter mentions "Great Circle" navigation, so most commercial sea freight sticks to sea lanes in a fairly narrow band of the Atlantic.
During wartime, of course, all ships, military, passenger and freight, sail all over the place to try to evade submarines, and thus have to be concerned about a much larger area of iceberg activity. A ship sunk by an iceberg is no happier than a ship sunk by a submarine.
Not on my voyage, but on another voyage, my passenger ship from London (Tilbury) to Montreal, the Communist Polish liner TSS Stefan Batory, struck an iceberg that gashed its hull below the water line, but it limped the rest of the voyage to Montreal at an intentional list to keep the gash above water as much as possible. I am guessing the skipper did not receive a medal or commendation or bonus for that voyage.