Coast Guard warns mariners be aware of ice conditions in Delaware Bay

PHILADELPHIA – The Coast Guard Captain of the Port Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia has set ice condition three Thursday and is warning mariners to be aware of ice in the Delaware Bay and River.

Ice condition three is set when weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ice in navigable waters. All masters, ship agents, and owners and operators of all vessels, marine facilities and marinas should review and adhere to the seasonal ice procedures listed below. These criteria were developed in partnership with the Mariners’ Advisory Committee for the Delaware Bay and River. Ship agents should generally act as liaison between the Coast Guard and their vessels.

When ice is present, but less than two inches, vessels must have a propulsion system with a minimum of 1000 horsepower, and be able to maneuver un-assisted through the ice without needing to stop, back off and ram the ice.

When ice is present in the C and D canal, only steel-hulled vessels whose propulsion systems are in excess of 1000 horsepower may transit the canal.

Vessel convoys will not be directed for ice or ice build of less than two inches, provided vessels can maintain headway. For ice conditions of two inches or greater, the Captain of the Port, in conjunction with the MAC, will consider implementing a plan that includes directing vessel convoys.

Vessel moorings should be checked frequently to ensure the vessel is adequately moored.

Vessels at anchor should maintain their engines on standby at all times.

Vessels at anchor should ensure that 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 that the sea chests are kept clear.

The Captain of the Port Sector Delaware Bay may establish additional requirements for specific geographic areas of the Captain of the Port Zone if conditions warrant such restrictions.

Please refer to the Sector Delaware Bay website for additional information regarding ice operations within the Sector Delaware Bay zone at or by calling our Sector Delaware Bay ice line at (215)-271-4995.

If you have any questions regarding the contents of this bulletin or the expectations of the Captain of the Port, please contact the Waterways Management staff at (215) 271-4889 or the Situational Unit Controller at (215) 271-4807.

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