The U.S. Coast Guard put in effect phase 1 of its Cook Inlet ice rules on Nov. 15. Phase one applies to the upper Cook Inlet, above latitude 60 degrees 45 minutes north, while phase two, which the USCG has not yet mandated for this winter, applies to the whole of the Cook Inlet.
The ice rules, designed to ensure safe winter vessel operation in frigid waters and sea ice, stipulate requirements such as the winterization of on-board systems, the maintenance of sufficient draft to keep propellers clear of surface ice and keeping propulsion systems on immediate standby when a vessel is moored.
“The ice rules put into effect today are a result of a recent cold spell and high winds developing ice early in Cook Inlet,” the Coast Guard said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a severe ice season this winter, although perhaps not as severe as in the winter of 2005-06, the Coast Guard says.
Note: See full story in the Nov. 19 issue of Petroleum News which will be released online (www.PetroleumNews.com) this coming Friday.