#Iceberg, #NorthAtlantic, #Grand Banks of Newfoundland, #Titanic, #SidHynes, #Canada, #Trans- AtlanticVessels, #GabrielleMcGrath, #International IcePatrol
Over the past week more than 400 icebergs had drifted into the North Atlantic shipping lanes which slowed down the vessels to a mere crawling or forced their detours of hundreds of miles, media reports said.
These numbers were unusually large seen only during late May or early June, average for this time of year being about 80, CBCNews reports said.
The number of icebergs had spiked earlier this week from 37 to about 450 near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, according to the U.S. Coast Guard's International Ice Patrol in New London, Connecticut, CBCNews reports said.
Experts attributed this phenomenon to global warming and blowing of strong winds in the counter-clockwise direction that caused breaking off chunks of the Greenland ice sheet and float away.
The icebergs In the waters close to where the Titanic went down in 1912, had been forcing ships to take precautions.
Trans-Atlantic vessels were forced to detour, instead of cutting straight across the ocean, that had been adding around 640 kilometres to the trip equal to a day and a half of added travel time for many large cargo ships.
Cargo ships owned by Oceanex near the Newfoundland coast, had to throt way back to 3 or 4 knots to get to their homeport in St. John's, which had added up to a day to the trip, said executive chairman, Capt. Sid Hynes.
He said One ship was pulled out of service for repairs after hitting a chunk of ice and added all these made everything so expensive.
Coast Guard Cmdr. Gabrielle McGrath, who leads the ice patrol, said it was for the first time that she had seen such a drastic increase in such a short time and predicted a fourth consecutive extreme ice season with more than 600 icebergs in the shipping lanes.
In 2014, there were 1,546 icebergs in the shipping lanes, the sixth most severe season on record since 1900, according to the patrol. There were 1,165 icebergs in 2015 and 687 in 2016.
The International Ice Patrol was formed after the sinking of the Titanic to monitor iceberg danger in the North Atlantic and warn ships. It conducts inspection of flights that are used to produce charts.
In 104 years, according to the ice patrol, no ships that were warned had struck an iceberg.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of iceberg: Wikipedia