Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
April 26, 2013
113th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 159, No. 59 — Daily Edition
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HONORING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL ICE PATROL
(Extensions of Remarks - April 26, 2013)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E579] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] HONORING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL ICE PATROL ______ HON. JOE COURTNEY of connecticut in the house of representatives Friday, April 26, 2013 Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the United States Coast Guard International Ice Patrol (IIP). Today marks the IIPs 100th anniversary, and on this occasion I would ask that my colleagues join me in honoring this distinguished group's service towards achieving maritime safety for passengers and commerce traversing the North Atlantic. Prior to the establishment of an organization tasked with monitoring risks and sharing information, trans-Atlantic travel presented serious dangers to passengers and cargo. Among these risks was the presence of icebergs, which presented numerous obstacles in Transatlantic shipping lanes. These icebergs were a prominent threat to all who braved these long voyages, but it took a tragedy of international proportions and historic scope to bring the danger into focus. On April 15, 1912, the sinking of the RMS Titanic due to an iceberg strike instigated the provided the impetus for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) agreement, and the establishment of the International Ice Patrol, managed by the United Sates Coast Guard. Other than the years interrupted by the two world wars, the IIP has been active in every ice season 1913. The Revenue Cutter Service, precursor to the modern day Coast Guard, provided two cutters--the Seneca and Miami--to meet the needs of protecting trans-Atlantic shipping routes from the dangers of icebergs. For many subsequent decades, Coast Guard IIP ships would brave the waters of the North Atlantic to provide timely data and warning to safeguard global commerce. The current mission of the International Ice Patrol is to monitor the iceberg activity surrounding the Grand Banks of Newfoundland that threatens trans-Atlantic shipping lanes, with an average of 500 icebergs from Greenland's glaciers drifting into these vital channels. This area, with its high concentration of oil platforms, fishing vessels, fog, and tremendous iceberg activity, makes it one of the most dangerous areas in the word for maritime transportation. Today, Coast Guard fixed wing aircraft perform aerial reconnaissance to monitor icebergs providing real time data on this persistent danger. To date, no ship that has heeded International Ice Patrol warnings has struck an iceberg. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring the United States Coast Guard International Ice Patrol's dedication to protecting the lives and livelihoods of the many courageous mariners that daily cross the seas and who form the backbone of our international maritime trade. Safe and reliable transportation is a critical component of trade, which is further a driver of economic growth. We would be bereft of these benefits without the hard work of the men and women of the International Ice Patrol.