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Implementation of Condition Bravo of the Operating Guidelines for Ice Conditions in Lower Cook Inlet, effective February 1, 2024

The U.S. Coast Guard is implementing Condition Bravo of the Operating Guidelines for Ice Conditions in Lower Cook Inlet, effective February 1, 2024.  Condition A specifies that there is ice present with no immediate impact to mooring and represents the lowest severity of ice present in Lower Cook Inlet.

All vessels scheduled to arrive in Cook Inlet north of Homer, Alaska must submit a voyage plan no less than 24 hours prior to arrival at the Kachemak Bay Pilot Station. We have also posted the Guidelines referenced above to the Sector Anchorage Homeport webpage.

 

 

IV.LOWER COOK INLET GUIDELINES South of 60° 45’ N latitude (East - West Forelands)

Lower Cook Inlet will be broken down into two conditions:

 

Condition “B” – Ice present with ice threatening the integrity of moorings

 

A.SELF-PROPELLED VESSEL OPERATIONS

1.Condition “A” – Ice present with no immediate impact to mooring

 

a. Engines, critical machinery remain in standby;

b. Ice scout/assist tug deployed in immediate vicinity;

c. Extra mooring lines immediately available. 

 

Condition “B” – Ice present with ice threatening the integrity of mooringsCondition B includes the requirements of Condition A and the following additionalmeasures:

 

a. Tug assist, immediate vicinity;

b. Ice scout, operational on scene;

c. Underway bridge watch to include Pilot(s) and engine room;

d. Engines, critical machinery running;

e. 4 knots Flood (forecasted) all cargo transfers shutdown (NOAA Tesoro Pier);

f. 5 knots Flood (forecasted) cargo hoses disconnected.

 

3. Condition “B” – Additional Details for Tesoro and LNG Dock

When Condition B is in effect and the flood current forecast is 4 knots or greater and the vessel is encountering ice conditions alongside the Tesoro and LNG dock, the following actions should be taken:

a. Discontinue all transfer operations;

b. Make transfer hoses ready for immediate disconnect;

c. Maintain a continuous watch (to include a Pilot(s)) to ensure the most expeditious means of mitigating ice conditions by relieving strain on mooring lines, getting the vessel underway, or both as appropriate. Place engines and propulsion systems in a status to ensure the most expeditious means of mitigating ice conditions by relieving strain on mooring lines, getting the vessel underway, or both as appropriate; and,

d. Position a designated vessel up current of the moored vessel to serve as an ice scout. The ice scout should only work under the direction of the moored vessel’s navigational watch. The ice scout should be positioned to ensure observed ice conditions are relayed to the moored vessel in a timely manner for effective risk mitigation efforts.

e. The Master, Pilot, or Person-in-Charge should discontinue transfer operations, disconnect hoses, and get the vessel underway any time circumstances warrant.

 

B. NIKISKI TUG/BARGE OPERATING GUIDELINES

When Lower Cook Inlet guidelines are in effect, in addition to filing a voyage plan with the COTP the following actions should be taken:


1. Condition “A” - Ice present with no immediate impact to moorings

a. Engines, critical machinery remain in standby

b. Extra Mooring lines immediately available

 

2. Condition “B” – Ice present with ice threatening the integrity of moorings

Condition B includes the requirements of Condition A and the following additional measures:

a. Tug assist, immediate vicinity;

b. Ice Scout, operational on scene;

c. Underway watch bridge and engine room;

d. 2 knots Flood (forecasted) Engines, critical machinery running;

e. 4 knots Flood (forecasted) all cargo transfers shutdown (NOAA Tesoro Pier);

f. 5 knots Flood (forecasted) cargo hoses disconnected.

 

3. Condition “B” – Additional Details

When Condition B is in effect, the following actions should be taken:

a. An “assist” tug should assist the attending tug and barge to the facility;

b. When there is no ice at the dock and the barge has successfully moored, the assist tug may act as an ice scout under the direction of the moored tug’s navigational watch. The ice scout should be positioned in the best location so that current ice conditions can be relayed to the attending tug in a timely manner, allowing tow response to expedite prudent risk mitigation;

c. The attending tug should maintain an “underway” watch on the bridge while alongside the dock, keep main engines running and ready for immediate operation, and keep a sufficient number of additional mooring lines immediately available for use in an emergency;

d. When a vessel is encountering ice conditions while alongside the dock, the assist tug should reposition alongside the moored tow in a timely manner;

e. When the flood current forecast is 2 knots or greater and the tow is encountering ice conditions whether underway or moored, both the attending and assist tug should keep main engines running and ready for immediate operation; and,

f. When the current forecast is 4 knots or greater and the tug and barge is encountering ice conditions, all transfer operations should be discontinued and transfer hoses made ready for immediate disconnect.

g. The facility dock Person-in-Charge, Towing Vessel Operator, Tug Captain, or Barge Tankerman may determine it prudent to suspend transfer operations and disconnect hoses during maximum flood currents, since the ice flow is generally heavier on the flood tide at the Nikiski docks.


CDR J. Z. Downing

Sector Anchorage

Chief of Prevention


Lower Cook Inlet Bravo Activation signed
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Download PDF • 196KB

Cook Inlet Ice Guidelines 17 Oct 2023 Sector Anchorage signed
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Download PDF • 1.32MB

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