Recent Incidents Archive

Area 9 - 30 December 2013: Diomid drifting towards shore due to bad weather
General cargo with container capacity Diomid (6030 gt, built 1988), en route from Magadan to Vladivostok, was reported drifting towards the shore at a speed of 0.2 miles per hour, due to bad weather conditions. The vessel sheltered in Sakhalin Bay after encountering bad weather and decided to get underway as the weather improved on Dec 28, when the incident occurred.

NSR - 4 September 2013: Tanker Accident
The tanker Nordvik was holed by an ice floe in the Matisen Strait, north of the Taimyr Peninsula. The 1985 built vessel, 138m long and 6,403 dwt was proceeding towards Murmansk at 4 knots. Whilst the vessel reportedly had permission to sail in the Kara and Laptev seas, its ice class was allegedly insufficient for the medium ice conditions in the Kara Sea. The seafarer's Union of Russia claimed the vessel should not have been in the area at all.

Alaska - 26 July 2013: Tug-barge grounded in Alaska
The vessel was clearing tsunami debris when it was washed into an ice floe off Hook Point-Alaganik, 65m SE of Cordova. The remoteness of the location means salvage operations are anticipated to take several weeks even though fuel and hydraulics have been pumped off.

Singapore Haze Risk
During March 2013 and into April and again in August, the Singapore Strait and port waters can have significantly reduced visibility due to haze. The port authority cautions masters to keep a proper lookout and to navigate with caution. To underline the risk, there were four collision incidents in March 2013. The haze, which is an annual problem is caused by fires in neighbouring countries set by farmers clearing land for cultivation.

St Lawrence - 28 February 2013: Non-ice class boxship stuck in ice! St Lawrence
OOCL Belgium sought icebreaker assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard when it became stuck in ice in the Strait of Belle Isle. Commentators questioned why such vessel (40,972 dwt, 2,808 teu built 1998) should be in an area normally subject to 70cm of ice at this time of year.

31.12.2012 Aleutian Grounding
The mobile drilling unit Kulluk sits aground on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island about 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, in 40 mph winds and 20-foot seas Tuesday 1 January 2013. The Kulluk grounded following many efforts by tug and Coast Guard crews to tow the vessel to a safe harbor when it was beset by winter storm weather during a tow from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to Everett, Wash. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

12.11.2012 Total Loss
Okhotsk - missing cargoship believed located on seabed in 25m of water.
On 28th October Amurskaye went missing with 9 crew and its cargo of 700-750 tons of gold in the sea of Okhotsk. Reportedly the vessel was 611 dwt and overloaded by 90 tons, undercrewed and on an unauthorised voyage. 

20.8.2012 Chinese icebreaker transit
Xue Long has become the first Chinese ship to transit the NSR . The government owned 15,000gt icebreaker docked in Iceland after a successful Pacific to Atlantic voyage.

16.7.2012 Svalbard casualty
Polargirl, a 1962, 340gt exploration ship grounded in Isfjord with 28 on board. The passengers were evacuated by boat and helicopter. The vessel was pulled free from rocks and refloated the same evening and headed to Longyearbyen under its own power.

09.12.2011 Technicians sent to help Morning Cedar
Shipowner Eukor is flying out a team of technicians to fix a steering problem on its disabled car carrier Morning Cedar off Alaska. The 5,234-vehicle-capacity vessel (built 1982) went adift nine miles from shore on Monday. The US Coast Guard (USCG) said the rudder was stuck hard to starboard. USCG spokesman Jonathan Lally said the experts should fly from Anchorage to Adak on Thursday and then proceed to the ship. The vessel has a crew of 23, but they unable to fix a hydraulic leak in the steering system. Eukor has also arranged for a tug to leave Seattle on Wednesday for the nine-day trip. A Coast Guard cutter is at the scene. Morning Cedar does have propulsion and use of bow thrusters. 6.3.2011 Vessel Trapped in Ice

The 2,700-dwt Asteropa (built 1980) got into difficulty near Sosnovets island in the White Sea on Satruday en route from Rotterdam to Arkhangelsk with a cargo of steel. The crew has been trying to fix the engine, local reports said. Meanwhile, an icebreaker had been due to arrive on Sunday to take the ship into Arkhangelsk. The vessel is operated by Uniship of Riga.

17.2.2011 Russian Ships Clash

The master of the 4,200-dwt Soyana (built 1992) said his vessel was no longer seaworthy after the incident in thick ice fields on Thursday, Port News said. The other ship, Northern Shipping’s 2,600-dwt Mekhanik Brilin (built 1991), was not damaged.Both were being guided by an icebreaker. Soyana’s hull and superstructure were holed, but there had been no water ingress. It was carrying a cargo of scrap.The icebreaker guided the ship back into port, where it will repaired.Mekhanik Brilin headed as scheduled for Bordo with its timber cargo. Soyana is operared by Avtorechmortrans of Arkhangelsk.

Feb 2011 Difficult ice conditions off St. Petersburg
The ice conditions in the easternmost part of Gulf of Finland have turned out to be so difficult that the Russian icebreakers are not capable of assisting all vessels. On the morning of February 17, 33 eastbound vessels were waiting for icebreaker assistance. In addition to this, there were 25 westbound vessels stuck in the ice. In the port of St. Petersburg, ten outbound vessels are waiting for assistance and on the roads 27 inbound vessels are waiting to be docked. On February 15 and 16, the Russian icebreakers assisted a total of 60 vessels. One of these was the Panama-flagged car carrier City of St. Petersburg, which docked in her “home port” on the evening of February 16, with a cargo of 1,500 Nissan cars.The Russian state-owned port company Rosmorport and the state-owned shipping company Atomflot want to transfer the nuclear powered icebreaker Vaygach to the Gulf of Finland. The icebreaker is now based in Murmansk, but is needed off St. Petersburg. According to, approval from the other Baltic Sea states is required for transfer of the nuclear powered ship through the Sounds.

Feb/March 2011 Vessels stuck in ice in Bothnia 

Tens of vessels are stranded in thick ice and ports in northern Sweden and northern Finland. The ice-conditions in the Bay of Bothnia have never been worse since 1987, reports SVT. Some 60 cargo- and bulk vessels are stuck in the ice and ports this week.Almost all ship traffic to and from harbors in northern Finland are halted, reports Helsingin Sanomat. Finland has two icebreakers working for full and Sweden has one. Additional icebreakers from the Baltic areas can’t sail to the north; there is more than enough of ice to break in south as well. Last week the Barents Observer reported that the Russian nuclear powered icebreaker Vaigash had to sail from Murmansk to assist the vessels sailing in and out of St. Petersburg. Also, for the first time in many years, the Russian cost of the Black Sea is covered with ice after extreme cold period all the way from the Barents Region in the north to the Black Sea cost in the south.

14.12.2010 Cargoship on the Rocks (Close to INC Area 9)

The 1,400-dwt Refrigerator-604, built 1982, hit the underwater hazard as it entered Malo-Kurilskaya Bay on Wednesday. The ship was said to be badly damaged, with power lost and the engine room flooded. Two ballast tanks were holed. The vessel was carrying 800 tonnes of frozen fish from Japan and 38 tonnes of oil. It was not listing and was lying in up to five metres of water. No spill has been reported. A salvage vessel has headed to the scene. The cargoship is operated by Deks of Vladivostok.

Sooty problem Growing in Arctic 

Research from Canadian and US scientists claims that emissions from cargoships as the arctic opens up to owners will accelerate climate change in the region.  The study is the first into the potential impact of engine exhaust particles on the arctic environment. The researchers estimate that about 2% of global ship traffic will be diverted to the arctic by 2030 and that the figure could rise to 5% by 2050. Soot-stained snow and ice absorb more of the sun's heat. The study team's key conclusion, based on the modelling of future emissions in the region, is that "short-lived forcing of about 4.5 gigatons of black carbon from arctic shipping may increase the global warming potential due to ships' carbon dioxide emissions by some 17% to 78% per cent." They want Canada and the other Arctic Council nations to review the latest data to help form policies concerning climate change and polar shipping. Russian tanker owner Sovcomflot has been pioneering the passage of bigger vessels through the ice to Asia this year, and has more voyages planned for 2011. A passenger vessel and Danish bulker have also ventured along the route in recent weeks.

4.10.2010 Tanker Runs Aground In Cartwright Harbour, Labrador

The 1989 built, 2,852-dwt tanker, the Mokami, ran aground on a shoal in Cartwright harbour, Labrador. After delivering fuel to Cartwright Harbour the Mokami ran into difficulty. Another vessel managed to pull the Mokami off the shoal later on in the day.The Mokami is part of the fleet of Coastal Shipping, a subsidiary of Canada’s Westwood Group. In September the owner’s of the 9,215-dwt chemical tanker Nanny was grounded in the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. There was a quantity of diesel fuel onboard the ship which grounded on a sandbar southwest of Gjoa Haven in Nunuvut. The Nanny was later freed.

29.8.2010 Cruise ship runs aground in Canadian Arctic

More than 120 passengers were evacuated by the Canadian cost guard when an elderly expedition cruiseship ran aground in the Beaufort Sea’s Coronation Gulf.The ice strengthened 4,376-gt Clipper Adventurer, part of a Miami based fleet, was built in 1975 was reported as listing art 4.5 degrees to port but stable.

25.03.2010 Great Lakes

There are continued restrictions to vessel traffic for an extra 24 hours near Southern Lake Huron & the Upper St. Clair River after an ice bridge caused a hazard to navigation. Efforts are being made to relieve the ice jam above the Blue Water Bridge. A suspension for vessel transits on the St. Clair River has been put in place for 48 hours. No Night time transits will be allowed. Vessels will need to provide at least 1 assist tug of sufficient power for safe transit until further notice.

20.3.2010 Bulkers Trapped in Lake Huron

Two Great Lakes bulkers were stuck in Lake Huron after winds pushed an 11 mile section of ice into the shipping channel.Tugs and coastguard vessels were involved in freeing the two ships, the 73,000dwt Edgar B Speer and the 19,400 ton Alpena, built 1942.

4.3.2010 Baltic Ice Problems

Around 50 ships recently became stuck in thick ice in the Baltic around Sweden, the Stockholm archipelago and the Finnish island of Aland. These included two passenger ferries and two cargo ships with over 1,100 people aboard. In the southern Baltic, conditions were reported to be the worst for 15 years in contrast to the northern area which is having a relatively benign year.

8.2.2010 Loran-C shut down

The US Coast Guard has stopped transmitting the radio signal Loran-C (North American Long Range Navigation-C) which has been a reliable navigation aid since WW2. Mariners will now have to rely on the satellite system, GPS.

22.1.2010 Russian reefer in trouble in Sea of Okhotsk

The 1,557 dwt Smolninskiy lost power in icy waters and was in danger of sinking. Latest reports stated the operation to airlift the 30 crew was being prevented by poor weather conditions.

13.1.2010 White Sea (Port Vitino) - current conditions - from a Master's report

During loading at port Vitino 02-05 Jan, 2010 there was very low air temperature during the day -25C/-13F and during night time up to -30C/-22F. White sea is an iceberg free area, with ice only during winter time. Ice at port Vitino area and Kandalaksha Bay: thickness varies from 0.10-0.30 metres. Vessel speed in loaded condition on the port Vitino fairway was 6.0-7.0 knt and in Kandalaksha Bay, varied from 1.0 to 7.5 knt at full manoeuvering speed. White sea on way to Murmansk: ice conditions lighter, ice thickness from 0.05-0.20 meters.

13.1.2010 Expanding ice cover in northern China could have a serious impact on oil exploration and shipping.

Activity in the Yellow Sea is also being restricted, where ice may reach 90 nautical miles from the coast next week. The ice may reach 40 centimetres in thickness, according to the State Oceanic Administration. Sea ice appeared last week in Bohai and the Yellow Sea as cold fronts pushed temperatures down to minus 10 degrees Celsius. The coast of nearby Shandong province also saw the most severe icing in 30 years.