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The International Ice Patrol
Transcript of The International Ice Patrol
Newfoundland as mandated by the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea."
The International Ice Patrol
A look below the surface
History of Operations
Since ships began to traverse the north Atlantic, there have been iceberg collisions. After the Titanic sank in 1912, the tremendous loss of life led to the first Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention and the creation of the International Ice Patrol.
This degree of international cooperation was unprecedented.
The International Ice Patrol has been actively patrolling since 1914 and in 1932 they expanded from simply observing icebergs to tracking them and measuring ocean currents in 1932.
The Titanic sank in 1913. Since then, there have been no collisions with icebergs by almost any ship. It is as if they are forewarned....
The budget of the International Ice Patrol is currently provided by 17 different nations, averaging to 5.97 million dollars from 199 to 2007.
The United States pays for 10 to 15 percent of the total budget, paying at only a few hundred thousand dollars a year.
The yearly budget fluctuates from year to year, but it has not recently shown an upward or downward trend in the nominal budget, thus showing a decrease in the real cost to the government.
Originally tracking icebergs by patrolling on ships, the Ice Patrol began to use planes to patrol in 1946.
In 1956 unsuccessful attempts were made to mark icebergs.
In 1959-1960 iceberg demolition was determined to be inefficient.
The first ocean current tracking involved both dropping sensors and sending out messages in bottles to see where they wash up.
The Ice Patrol has also long used weather balloons to measure the winds.
The International Ice patrol now conducts most of their patrols by airplane, covering 30,000 square miles in one patrol. Many icebergs are spotted this way, either by a radar or a human spotter because radars often miss icebergs or cannot distinguish them from ships or sea ice.
The International Ice Patrol has a 100% success rate - no ships that have heeded the Ice Patrol 's warnings has collided with any icebergs, thus providing safety to an economically important shipping route.
The International Ice Patrol provides critical information to ships that they cannot get from their own equipment. This public resource is incredibly important to the global economy.
The current commander, Commander Lisa Mack is the first female commander of the International Ice Patrol.
They are currently based out of Connecticut, while the air reconnaissance detachment is still based out of Newfoundland.
The Ice Patrol also utilizes satellites and the more old-fashioned method, boats patrols.