The Ice Navigation Manual

Trade in ice covered waters continues to grow and, increasingly, operators looking for future flexibility are building ships classed for operations in ice. This manual, written through collaboration with a number of experienced ice professionals, brings m

Author: House, Lloyd, Toomey,Dickins
ISBN: 9789053315989

Trade in ice covered waters continues to grow and, increasingly, operators looking for future flexibility are building ships classed for operations in ice. This manual, written through collaboration with a number of experienced ice professionals, brings much of what is relevant for the Officer or Master on a merchant vessel, operating in ice conditions, to a single publication

This book balances the considerations for the different ice types that ships' officers may encounter, whether first year or multi-year ice, and the different ice types in the arctic, Great Lakes or the Baltic. A good example of the outcome of a misinterpretation of the ice type a vessel is presented with was given to the whole world in 2007, when the ' MS Explorer ' sank in the Antarctic Ocean. While, as in many incidents, there were numerous factors that uniquely came together, in this case the Ship’s Master was very experienced in first year Baltic Ice conditions but had no experience of multi-year ice . This meant that he failed to correctly identify the ice type as compacted multi year ice and entered it as if it were the first year ice conditions he was familiar with, with disasterous outcome.

Covering Ice Types, Ice Conditions, The Main Ice Regions, Ice Class Ships, Preparations for a Ship and the Crew for Ice the book then moves to the practical aspects of Navigating in Ice, Shiphandling, Working with Icebreakers and Oil Pollution in Ice Covered Waters, this creates a manual that will remain as valid and up to date in 2020 as it is in 2010, although by then there may well need to be a few more case studies about the actions and outcomes of the unwary.

About the Authors

Captain Patrick R M Toomey - Canadian Coast Guard (Rtd)
Captain Toomey spent 27 years with the Canadian Coast Guard, in that time completing 21 navigation seasons in the Canadian Arctic on Canadian icebreakers, 18 of these seasons as Icebreaker Captain. During that period in command he completed his first four transits of the Northwest Passage, the first of these transits being only the 17th transit ever recorded , which is astounding when you consider that the first transits were made in the 15th Century and, even today, we are only recording the 200th. Since taking early retirement from the Canadian Coast Guard in 1991, Patrick has consulted as an Ice Navigation Specialist. During that time he has made a number of appearances in court as an expert witness and assessor for litigation involving ice navigation, twelve seasons as Ice Pilot/Lecturer aboard 6 Russian icebreakers in the Canadian and Russian Arctic, including 6 voyages to the North Pole and 7 further transits of the Northwest Passage plus 1 transit of the Siberian Northern Sea Route. February 2009 saw him complete his 26th voyage into Antarctic waters. Of his recent Antarctic sojourns, one has been a circumnavigation on a Russian icebreaker of the Antarctic continent and 16 have been as Ice Pilot on the Holland America Line vessels ‘Rotterdam’, ‘Amsterdam’ and ‘Prinsendam’. Other consultant work he has undertaken, has included training in ice navigation for the Canadian Coast Guard, the Chilean Navy and in the private sector. His counsel on matters concerning ice navigation is sought by the industry’s press on both sides of the Atlantic and he has contributed to the development of international regulations concerning ice navigation.

Captain Michael Lloyd FNI
As Master, Captain Lloyd commanded a wide variety of ships and trades ranging from vessels of 300dwt to 300,000dwt and holds Pilotage exemption certificates for a number of ports around the world. For 10 years he represented Shipmasters on the General Council of Nautilus, is a Member of the Court of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, a Freeman of the city of London, a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and a Younger Brother of Trinity House. During his career, he was Chief Officer and in Command of ships in ice in the Baltic, the Arctic, the Antarctic, Northern Alaska, Northern Canada and Russian waters on a variety of Ice Class vessels, ranging from 80,000dwt bulk carriers to a 3000dwt Russian Deepsea Ice Breaker and Supply vessel.

David J. House - Author
David House has authored many maritime books in recent years and gained his ice experience sailing in winter from the North Atlantic via the Bell Isle Strait and the frozen waters of the St Lawrence River, towards the ports of Quebec, Montreal and Toronto. This is combined with experience in the Baltic Sea that enhanced his ice experience and the demanding task of navigating from the Kiel Canal in pack ice in the depths of winter with few navigation marks which proved a most demanding task. David continues to teach all aspects of seamanship and navigation including Ice Operations.

David Dickins - Advisor on oil pollution in ice
David Dickins, P.Eng. has a broad range of Arctic offshore experience gained through 38 years of projects focusing on offshore oil exploration and development and the marine transportation of oil in Arctic waters. Since starting his own engineering consulting firm in 1978, David has developed a worldwide reputation as an expert in Arctic environmental studies, remote sensing, shipping routes in ice, oil spills, sea ice conditions and air cushion vehicles. His background includes the management of hundreds of research projects for government and industry clients and authoring or contributing to over 70 conference papers and journal articles. David played a key role in organizing and chairing six international conferences on Arctic environmental and transportation issues. Since 1974, David has played a significant role in 10 experimental oil spill projects in ice and cold waters off the Canadian Arctic and East Coasts and most recently in the Norwegian Barents Sea. He has worked and lived on the ice throughout the Canadian and US Arctic, from the Beaufort Sea to the Canadian Arctic Islands


Global warming is helping to open up new polar routes for merchant shipping – raising fears of environmental catastrophes and loss of life so far from shore-based support services. Add to this the growing number of cruiseship operations and oil and gas transport in Arctic and Antarctic waters and the need for highly trained crews and well run ships becomes more acute than ever.

This thorough and well produced guide from Witherby Seamanship aims to serve as a major contribution to safety in icy seas. Written and designed with exemplary clarity, it covers all the crucial areas needed to ensure a proper understanding of the demands of operating in Polar Regions and the precautions that need to be taken.

Copiously illustrated, its 10 sections include preparing ships and their crew for ice and navigation and shiphandling in ice. It includes a handy glossary, a good index and an extensive biography for further information. It should be required reading onboard all the increasing number of ships running services in ice.'

Nautilus Telegraph Review September 2010.

Publication date: 22 Dec 2010