Coast Guard sets ice condition 2 for Chesapeake Bay; 3 for Delaware Bay and tributaries; Virginia Capes closed too; Cutter Chock slicing ice from Crisfield to Tangier Island

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Coast Guard Cutter Capstan breaking through the ice in shipping channel on the Chesapeake Bay in 2016. Coast Guard photo

Master Chief Petty Officer William Hollandsworth, officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Cutter Mako

Coast Guard sets seasonal ice condition 2 in northern Chesapeake and tributaries

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BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard Sector Maryland National-Capital Region Captain of the Port (COTP) set seasonal ice condition two Wednesday, and cautions mariners to be aware of ice formation on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Seasonal ice condition two is set when ice of noteworthy thickness and coverage has formed within the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, the upper Potomac River, and on the Maryland eastern shore.

All masters, ship agents, and owners and operators of all vessels, marine facilities and marinas are encouraged to report observed ice conditions to the Sector Maryland-NCR command center at 410-576-2693 or D05-SMB-SectorMD-NCR-SCC@uscg.mil. Additionally, mariners should review and prepare for the seasonal ice procedures below:

  •  When ice is present and navigational restrictions are imposed by the COTP, vessels must have the proper hull type and an adequate propulsion system meeting the minimum horsepower requirements to be able to maneuver unassisted through the ice without needing to stop, back off and ram the ice.
  • When ice is present in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, navigational restrictions will be coordinated with COTP Delaware Bay and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Canal Project based on the shared jurisdiction of the waterway.
  • Vessel moorings should be checked frequently to ensure the vessel is secured.
  • Vessels at anchor should maintain their engines on standby at all times.
  • Vessels at anchor should ensure proper bridge watches are stood at all times.
  • Vessel sea chests should be checked regularly for ice buildup and precautions should be taken to ensure the sea chests are kept clear.

The Sector Maryland-NCR COTP may establish additional requirements for specific geographical areas of the COTP zone if conditions warrant such restrictions.

The Chesapeake City resident engineer, representative of the District Engineer for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Philadelphia, has prescribed steel hull restrictions for the C&D Canal. The canal dispatcher on duty should be contacted regarding conditions and requirements for vessels using the canal.

Ice related vessel and/or waterway restrictions are announced via Coast Guard broadcast notices to mariners, five times daily at 3 a.m.7:05 a.m.11:30 a.m.4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. local time on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 22A.

Coast Guard sets ice condition 2 in Hampton Roads, plans to close Capes to vessel traffic

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads Captain of the Port set ice condition two and plans to close the Capes to inbound and outbound vessel traffic at 6 p.m. today.

Ice condition two is set when there is a significant formation of ice in navigable waters. Ice has been reported on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and in the Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

Coast Guard Cutter Chock, homeported in Baltimore, is currently underway to conduct ice-breaking and other relief efforts in the vicinity of Tangier Island.

Mariners are requested to use extreme caution when transiting and to report any observation of ice accumulation on navigable waters to the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center on marine radio VHF-FM channel 16 or at 757-668- 6635. These reports will be monitored daily.

The Port will remain open to all vessel traffic and commercial activities without limitations until 6 p.m.

“The impending blizzard will cause a variety of maritime hazards, including strong winds, zero visibility, topside icing and heavy seas,” said Capt. Rick Wester, Sector Hampton Roads Captain of the Port. “Mariners should secure their vessels, stow any loose equipment, monitor updates and most importantly, stay off the water.”

J. Millard Tawes DNR icebreaker cuts path to Tangier Va. in this 2016 photo courtesy of WJLA News Chopper 7

Ice breaking on the Chesapeake Bay by the U. S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard sets ice condition 3 for Delaware Bay and tributaries

PHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Captain of the Port (COTP) set ice condition three Tuesday, and cautions mariners to be aware of ice formation on the Delaware Bay and its tributaries.

Ice condition three is set when weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ice in navigable waters.

The COTP of Delaware Bay is notifying mariners that ice condition 3 has been set for the Port, which includes the Delaware Bay and River, the C&D Canal, Cape May Harbor and Canal and the Intracoastal Waterway.

All masters, ship agents, owners and operators of all vessels, marine facilities and marinas are encouraged to report observed ice conditions to the Sector Delaware Bay command center at 215-271-4940. Additionally, mariners should review and prepare for the seasonal ice procedures below:

  • When ice is present, but less than two inches, vessels must have a propulsion system with adequate horsepower, and be able to maneuver unassisted through the ice without needing to stop, back off and ram the ice.
  • Vessel moorings should be checked frequently to ensure vessels are adequately moored.
  • Vessels at anchor should maintain their engines on standby at all times.
  • Vessel sea chests should be checked regularly for ice buildup and precautions should be taken to ensure that the sea chests are kept clear.
  • Vessels at anchor should ensure that proper bridge watches are stood at all times.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has imposed steel hull restrictions on the C&D Canal.

The Sector Delaware Bay COTP may establish additional requirements for specific geographical areas of the COTP zone if conditions warrant such restrictions.

Ice-related vessel and waterway restrictions are announced via Coast Guard broadcast notice to mariners, five times daily at 3 a.m., 7:05 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. local time on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 22A.

The status for local waterways can also be found at https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/delaware-bay or by calling the Sector Delaware Bay ice line at 215-271-4995.

The status and extent of these restrictions are continuously evaluated, as ice condition reports are received and assessed.

“It’s important to always check and monitor the marine weather forecast before any trip on the water,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, the Commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. “High winds, cold weather, and dropping temperatures are good reasons to re-evaluate an outing. If you must go out, we recommend using the buddy system and filing a float plan with a family member or friend. Letting someone responsible know where you are going and when you will be back could save your life if something unexpected happens.”

 

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