The IMO has released a new video focusing on the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) while on a voyage in the Antarctic.
The film shows some of the equipment specific to polar operations carried aboard Ocean Diamond expedition ship, such as the ice picks needed to hack off any ice build-up on deck and the thermal suits for crew and passengers to be used in case of emergency.
It also shows the system incorporated into the large windows on the bridge that pour hot water down the outside to melt the ice, as well as a heated panel to ensure visibility.
Oleg Klaptenko, Ocean Diamond’s Captain, said: “There are several sources of danger. Low temperature, bad visibility, very long polar night and polar day.
“Remoteness from our home and from human facility that can help you. It is also lack of good, accurate and complete hydrographic service.
“Due to the Polar Code, all crew members, as senior officers, as ratings, they have to pass special education, tests and certificates, they have to be certified for and get permission for sailing in polar waters.”
It is mandatory to follow the Polar Code under both the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
The code entered into force on January 1, 2017, marking a historic milestone in the organization’s work as it aims to protect both ships and the people aboard them in the harsh environment of the waters surrounding the two poles.