Coast Guard ice patrol opens ice season

New London — The U.S. Coast Guard International Ice Patrol opened the 2014 ice season Wednesday.

The New London-based unit took responsibility from the Canadian Ice Service for issuing daily iceberg warnings for the North Atlantic Ocean from the Canadian Ice Service. Under the North American Ice Service, the Ice Patrol and the Canadian Ice Service share responsibility for the iceberg warnings.

In early February, the IIP will deploy the first ice reconnaissance detachment to Newfoundland, Canada, to meet with Canadian partners and conduct the first aerial patrols of the season.

Only 13 icebergs threatened the shipping lanes in 2013, which the unit considers a light season.

The IIP was established by an international convention as a result of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. During the last 101 years, not a single ship heeding its warnings has struck an iceberg.

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