This publication should be of interest to maritime administrations, ship manufacturers, shipping companies, cruise and tour operators, educational institutes and all others concerned with the safe operation of ships in polar waters.
Ships operating in the Arctic and Antartic environments are exposed to a number of unique risks. Poor weather conditions and the relative lack of good charts, communication systems and other navigational aids pose challenges to mariners. The remoteness of the area makes rescue or clean up operations difficult and costly. Cold temperatures may reduce the effectiveness of numerous components to the ship, ranging from deck machinery and emergency equipment to sea suctions. When ice is present, it can impose additional loads on the hull, propulsion system and appendages.
The Guidelines for ships operating in polar waters aim at mitigating the additional risk imposed on shipping in the harsh environmental and climactic conditions which exist in polar waters.