(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]



                           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 
  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 
  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.