USCG Releases Polar Code Guidance

POLAR STAR
A starboard view of the anchored US Coast Guard icebreaker POLAR STAR. Photo Credit: Commons Wikipedia

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued an interim guidance for the training of deck and engineer officers serving on ships subject to the Polar Code.

The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, commonly referred to as the Polar Code, was developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in response to the challenges faced by these ships and the concern for their safe operation.

This code addresses safety and environmental requirements for ships and the level of training required for deck officers engaged on them. The training contained in the Polar Code, is risk-based depending on the type of ship and the ice conditions in the area of operation.

Implemented internationally through the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and STCW conventions, the Polar Code will come into force on January 1, 2017.

The Coast Guard said that this guidance is being provided to ensure there are sufficiently trained mariners by the time the Polar Code enters into force

The interim guidance is available here.