The route recommended by the Ice Operations officer is based on the latest available ice information and Masters are advised to adjust their course accordingly. The following notes on ship-handling in ice have proven helpful:
1）Do not enter ice if an alternative, although longer, route is available.
2）It is very easy and extremely dangerous to underestimate the hardness of the ice.
3）Enter the ice at low speed to receive the initial impact; once into the pack, increase speed to maintain headway and control of the ship.
4）Be prepared to go “Full Astern” at any time.
5）Navigation in pack ice after dark should not be attempted without high-power searchlights which can be controlled easily from the bridge. If poor visibility precludes progress, heave to and keep the propeller turning slowly as it is less susceptible to ice damage than if it were completely stopped.
6）Propellers and rudders are the most vulnerable parts of the ship; ships should go astern in ice with extreme care-always with the rudder amidships.
7）All forms of glacial ice (icebergs, growlers) in the pack should be given a wide berth, as they are current-driven whereas the pack is wind-driven.
8）Wherever possible, pressure ridges should be avoided and a passage through pack ice under pressure should not be attempted.
9）When a ship navigating independently becomes beset, it usually requires icebreaker assistance to free it. However, ships in ballast can sometimes free themselves by pumping and transferring ballast from side to side, and it may require very little change in trim or list to release the ship.
Masters who are inexperienced in ice often find it useful to employ the services of an ice pilot/advisor for transiting the Gulf of St. Lawrence in winter or an Ice Navigator for voyages into the Arctic in the summer.