Coast Guard Warns Boaters of Ice Formation on Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard is warning mariners to be aware of ice formation on the Chesapeake Bay.

USCG Sector Maryland National-Capital Region Captain of the Port set “ice condition three” on Monday, which means weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ice in navigable waters. The waters typically affected by early ice formation include the C&D Canal, the upper Chesapeake Bay, and the upper Potomac River.

One of the Coast Guard’s ice breaker boats

When ice is present and navigational restrictions are imposed, vessels must have the right type of hull and enough horsepower to maneuver unassisted through the ice, without needing to stop, back up, and ram the ice.

USCG also reminds mariners:

Anyone with a moored boat should check their moorings frequently to make sure the boat is still secured. Anchored boats should maintain their engines on standby at all times, and ensure someone is standing bridge watch at all times.

The Coast Guard says “all masters, ship agents, and owners and operators of all vessels, marine facilities and marinas are encouraged to report observed ice conditions to the Sector Maryland-NCR command center at 410-576-2693 or [email protected].”

You can find the status for local waterways anytime by calling 410-576-2682.

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.