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USCG’s only heavy icebreaker reaches Antarctica

The 150 crewmembers of the US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived on January 17, in Antarctica along with a resupply vessel during Operation Deep Freeze. This is a joint military service mission to resupply US interests in Antarctica. The Polar Star arrived after completing an 18-mile trip through the ice to McMurdo Sound.

IMO to finalize polar communication and navigation equipment guidance

IMO’s Polar Code aims to ensure that ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic areas consider extremes of temperature and make sure critical equipment remains operational. Draft guidance for navigation and communication equipment intended for use on ships operating in polar waters is expected to be finalized by the current session of the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue.

Barclays opposed to Arctic drilling

Barclays, a UK based international bank, published an ‘Energy and Climate Change Statement’ focusing on oil and gas drilling in Arctic. According to the statement, the bank restricts its financing for exploration or extraction of oil and gas and supported that any client conducting new exploration of or extraction of Arctic oil and gas will be subject to the Employment Development Department, EDD.

Polar Code, two years on: What’s next?

Is Polar Code enough to ensure safety & environmental protection of seafarers, passengers and Arctic people? The majority (74%) of the participants in a quick SAFETY4SEA Poll replied no, while just 26% are satisfied with the application of the Code. But what lies behind this negative perception toward Polar Code?

USCG starts ice breaking operations in Western Great Lakes

US Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie begun Operation Taconite, on January 7. This USCG’s largest domestic icebreaking operation in response to expanded ice growth in the commercial ports of Western Lake Superior and the St. Marys River. Operation Taconite includes Lake Superior, St. Marys River, Straits of Mackinac, Georgian Bay, Green Bay, northern Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan.

AECO signs declaration to tackle illegal wildlife trade

AECO, an industry association aiming to manage responsible expedition cruise tourism in the Arctic, signed the Buenos Aires Declaration on December 7. This Declaration states that signatories cannot knowingly enable the carriage or sale of illegally traded wildlife products.

Arctic’s oil spill response system to pass testing

Arctic FoxTail, a new oil spill response device, capable of cleaning up spills in the Arctic passed the testing as stated by H Henrisken’s press release. The device is a winterised version of the company’s Foxtail mop skimmer and contributes to Norway’s preparedness when it comes to oil spills. 

Watch: Eduart Toll transiting the NSR

Eduard Toll entered the open water in the Chukchi Sea and voyaging to the Chinese port of Jiangsu Rudong. Eduard Toll is the fourth of 15 Arc7 LNG carriers built for the Yamal LNG project and Teekay’s first of six LNG carrier newbuildings contracted to service the project.

Rosatom to regulate Russian Arctic shipping

Russian President Putin signed a law giving Rosatom a number of powers in the development of the Northern Sea Route. Namely, Rosatom will be responsible for managing the development and operation of the Northern Sea Route. The law was adopted by the State Duma on December 11, 2018 and approved by the Federation Council on December 21, 2018.

Finland’s second icebreaker departs in Bothnian Bay

Arctia’s icebreaker Kontio, the season’s second icebreaker, landed on the icebreaker base in Helsinki, Finland on December 29, 2018. The icebreaker will assist vessels that are to arrive in the operation area near Oulu and Raahe on December 30, 2018. Namely, Kontio icebreaker is the second vessel arriving in the area. Specifically, icebreaker Otso departed on December 25, in Bothnian Bay and is already providing assistance to vessels in the area.

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