There has been plenty of coverage of the new Presidential Arctic Region Policy released by the White House this week.
In 2008 the New York Times reported a growing number of military leaders and other Arctic experts were concerned the United States was losing its ability to patrol and safeguard Arctic waters. Lawson Bringham, of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, stated there were 5,400 vessels of 100 tons or greater operating in the Arctic in the summer of 2004. If each of those vessels were enrolled in, and reporting to, the Amver system the search and rescue capabilities of the region would be increased exponentially.
Do we really need new ice breaking capabilities? Yes. Can we afford to wait for them? If we maximize all the available resources, such as Amver participants, perhaps.
So how can Amver help in Arctic shipping?
- Amver participants act as a force multiplier to existing search and rescue services. Companies with ice (or polar) class vessels can enroll and participate in Amver. Many shipping companies have already realized the power of Amver and the need for increased participation by their ice class vessels. FedNav and Tsakos are two companies that have enrolled their entire ice class fleet.
- Amver data can be used by other countries. Search and Rescue authorities surrounding the Arctic can request Amver surface picture information using our online request form. Requesting Amver data increase the likelihood a resource will be found near a reported distress location. Here is a recent example of Amver data being used by an international rescue coordination center to assist a yacht in distress.
So what do you think? Can increased participation by ice class vessels make Arctic shipping safer? Are you willing to enroll and actively participate in the Amver program? Let us know how you feel.