The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(BALTIMORE) — The captain of the port for the Port of Baltimore set ice condition 3 on Friday and cautions mariners to be aware of ice formation within the Coast Guard Sector Baltimore COTP zone.
Ice condition 3 is set when weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ice in navigable waters.
Within the Sector Baltimore COTP zone, navigable waters typically affected by early ice formation include the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, upper Chesapeake Bay and upper Potomac River.
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 Baltimore at 410-576-2693 or D05-DG-SECBALT-SUC-WATCH@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 COTP of Baltimore may establish additional requirements for specific geographical areas of the COTP zone if conditions warrant such restrictions.
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.
The status for local waterways can also be found at http://www.uscg.mil/d5/ICE_REPORT/ or by calling the Sector Baltimore ice line at 410-576-2682.
The status and extent of these restrictions are continuously evaluated, as ice condition reports are received and assessed.