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Coast Guard warns of possible ice in upper Chesapeake
Date Posted: 2017-01-11
BALTIMORE — The Captain of the Port Maryland National-Capital Region set ice condition three Monday and cautions mariners to be aware of ice formation within the Sector Maryland-NCR COTP zone.
Ice condition three is set when weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ice in navigable waters.
Within the Sector Maryland-NCR COTP zone, navigable waters typically affected by early ice formation include the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, upper Chesapeake Bay and upper Potomac River.
All masters, ship agents, and owners and operators of all vessels, marine facilities and marinas are encouraged to report observed ice conditions by calling 410-576-2693 or by emailing D05-SMB-SECMD-NCR-SCC@uscg.mil.
Additionally, mariners should review and prepare for the seasonal ice procedures below:
• When ice is present and navigational restrictions are imposed by the COTP, vessels must have the proper hull type and an adequate propulsion system meeting the minimum horsepower requirements to be able to maneuver unassisted through the ice without needing to stop, back off and ram the ice.
• When ice is present in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, navigational restrictions will be coordinated with COTP Delaware Bay and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Canal Project based on the shared jurisdiction of the waterway.
• Vessel moorings should be checked frequently to ensure the vessel is secured.
• Vessels at anchor should maintain their engines on standby at all times.
• Vessels at anchor should ensure 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 the sea chests are kept clear.
COTP Maryland-NCR may establish additional requirements for specific geographical areas of the COTP zone if conditions warrant such restrictions. During a typical winter in the region the COTP may change the ice condition several times depending on weather and waterway conditions. The status and extent of these restrictions are continuously evaluated, as ice condition reports are received and assessed.
Ice related vessel and/or 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.
FWIW: Be careful if fishing and the current is out going ( falling tide ).
Seen water near bay bridge that was open on incoming slowly get ice choked when current changed to out going.
Weak incoming followed by a strong out going is often worst conditions. Ice will often follow main channel.
I once had to run south from bay bridge to mouth of Severn when ice blocked my path back to Sandy Point. Once at Severn - ran west across channel to clear water - then back north along 20 foot line to Sandy Point.
Got to love winter fishing.
They say that life's a carousel - spinning fast, you've got to ride it well.
The entire Bodkin Creek was iced in (skim ice) on Monday. With two days of 50+ degrees, it's probably open now. Ramp was iced in at my slip (Bodkin) and also at Ft Smallwood Park.
Bay looked clear:)
Icebreaking Vessel Opens Path to Smith Island
January 10, 2017
The J. Millard Tawes is One of Four Icebreakers on Call
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources this week dispatched its vessel, the J. Millard Tawes, to break ice on the water route to Smith Island, opening the vital link between the island and nearby Crisfield Harbor.
Smith Island residents are dependent on a small fleet of boats for necessary supplies and transportation. The department keeps in close contact with ferry operators to ensure they can transit the water safely.
The 75-year old former U.S. Coast Guard cutter was specially-designed to operate in shallow water. Stationed on the mainland, the Tawes and its five-member crew spend most of the year performing buoy tending operations in support of Maryland’s boating and fishing industry.
The department has four boats that can break up ice around the Chesapeake Bay. Cleared passageways allow for watermen, boat and barge captains and marine crews to continue their commerce and work on the water throughout the winter.