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DATABASE OF SHIP COLLISIONS WITH ICEBERGS

Brian T. Hill

Ship CollisionsThis database concentrates on iceberg collisions in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland and Labrador but does include a few incidents further north, around Greenland, and also in the fiords of Alaska. The format of the database follows the same style as that which appeared in the 1973 International Ice Patrol Bulletin. Now over 560 incidents, the database is comprised of the original 60 mentioned in the Bulletin plus what was found while researching material for the "Historical Record of Sea Ice and Iceberg Distribution around Newfoundland and Labrador, 1810 - 1958", report LM-1998-02. The scope of that report was mainly limited to the winter months January through April and provided a little over 200 incidents. The search now continues through the remainder of the calendar years using contemporary shipping journals and newspapers. Others have been found in a variety of databases, articles, and insurance records, the principal sources being acknowledged below.

The database focuses on incidents of ships striking icebergs which being ice of glacial origin also includes the smaller categories of growlers and bergy bits. Definitions can be found in MANICE.  Sometimes it is unclear whether a "piece of ice" is a small iceberg or ice floe. Best judgement was used in deciding which was more likely though in practical terms the difference is only one of terminology. There are many grim tales of death, destruction and survival in the ice without the presence of icebergs.

 

Brian T. Hill. Institute for Ocean Technology, NL, Canada.
Updated: February 2012