Proliferation of icebergs in the North Atlantic causes concern

US authorities are warning shipowners to alter course in the North Atlantic due to an unseasonal peak in the number of icebergs spotted in the area.

The US Coast Guard’s International Ice Patrol – established in the wake of the sinking of the Titanic – has warned the number of icebergs in the main shipping lanes of the North Atlantic has spiked from 37 last week to around 450 this week. Normally in early April there is an average of 80 icebergs in the region.

Ships near the Newfoundland coast have had to slow down to 3 or 4 knots and many transatlantic vessels are rerouting, some adding an extra 36 hours detour in to their voyages to avoid the sudden spread of ice seen in the ocean.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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