SPRO1802--North China’s Record Low Temperatures and Icy Sea Ask for Special Caution during Navigation
Circular Ref No.:SPRO1802
Date: 1 February 2018
Dear Sir or Madam,
Subject: North China’s Record Low Temperatures and Icy Sea Ask for Special Caution during Navigation
(This circular is prepared by Huatai Dalian Office)
North China is experiencing record low temperatures due to cold climates, especially in recent 2 weeks. Icy sea condition also poses threat to vessels’ safe navigation in this area. We have received a number of queries and concerns in this respect. As such, we have collected the following information from the key ports in Liaodong Bay, China (from Dalian to Huludao, Panjin, Bayuquan, Jinzhou and Dandong) for your kind reference.
General Situation
The ice season of Liaodong Bay is from around December 15th every year to March 15th of the next year, with late January and early February being the most severe period. According to ice condition and sea temperature forecast published by National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center, from 27 Jan. 2018 to 2 Feb. 2018, the max floating ice area is 65-75nm; general thickness of ice is 10-20cm and max thickness of ice is around 35cm.


(Map from the website of National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center: http://www.nmefc.gov.cn)

(Photos taken at Dalian port: floating ice are observed at harbor basin, channel and anchorage)
Operations at these ports are in normal condition. There is no ice breaker at North Liaodong Bay, and big tugs are used to break big pieces of ice in the harbor basin near by the shore as well as around the channel to ensure safe navigation.
MSA Notice
Yingkou MSA issued a notice to remind vessels of special caution to ensure their safe navigation around Yingkou, in which 3 types of vessels (single hull tankers and oil and chemical tankers, LNG with age over 12 years, vessels with GT less than 1600MT)are recommended not to call Yingkou during ice season, and if such vessels must berth during ice season, port authorities need to provide the security plan to MSA before berthing arrangement.
All the local MSA offices and port authorities in North Liaodong Bay will pay high attention to supervision and management of save navigation and secure production.
Based on our investigation of most frequent marine accidents in this area during ice seasons, we have summarized the following loss prevention advices for your reference:
----It is highly advisable for the Master to check as per checklist of navigation in ice seas, and maintain the hull structure, navigation equipment/VHF/AIS and fire main etc. in ice environment, ask the crewmember to keep proper look out on ice condition around the vessel en route and anchor chain condition during mooring and unmooring at ice anchorage, and collect local meteorological information from the internet or the ship agent. As a matter of fact, during ice season, one of the most frequent kind of marine incidents at north Liaodong Bay is loss of anchor, which may well bring anchor removal cost claim at later stage.
----Maneuver of the propellers/rudder in ice with greater caution is necessary to avoid damage to H&M due to solid ice cap.
----Vessels proceeding to North Liaodong Bay in ballast condition need to be alerted of the risk of lower or higher seawater inlets chocked with ice causing damage of M.E. And when entering the ports following big tugs, it is better to keep a proper distance from the tugs.
----Deck equipment condition should be properly covered by freezing proof materials and constantly checked, especially sensitive equipment such as deck-mounted winches.
----Drain the pipelines, fresh water lines and fire hoses to avoid frozen damage.
----Crew are reminded to be clothed sufficiently to ensure safety and good seamanship and to prevent elder crew’s cardio- cerebro vascular diseases even unfortunate sudden death in cold winter season. In every winter season, we will handle a few seafares’ severe stroke illness or sudden death cases related to cardio- cerebro vascular diseases.
----Keep cargo holds heating equipment properly operated in order to ensure liquid cargo temperature meet the cargo operation requirements as per the voyage instruction to avoid discharging or loading operation difficulties in icy environment. Recently we have handled several incidents of liquid cargo or high moisture cargo in bulk compensated or frozen in pipelines and bulk head which caused difficulties for loading and discharging operation.
Hope the above information is of help to vessels navigating in ice season at North Liaodong Bay. Meantime, for sake of caution, owners are also recommended to check with local ship agent for latest information prior to ship’s arrival at these ports.
Any further query, please feel free to contact our Dalian office at:
Email: pni.dl@huatai-serv.com
Capt. Lu Tongzhe    mob: +86 13909851192
Ms. Vivian Zhao      mob: +86 139 4208 6293
Duty phone: +86 185 2553 6060
Best regards,

Cui Jiyu
Vice President
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