Coast Guard issues ice warning for Delaware Bay, tributaries

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(PHILADELPHIA) — The Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay captain of the port (COTP) set ice condition 3 on Tuesday, and cautions mariners to be aware of ice formation on the Delaware Bay and its tributaries.

Ice condition 3 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 Delaware 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 2 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 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 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.

By Professional Mariner Staff