CHINA PORTS FREAK WEATHER ALERT.
Freak weather conditions and/or abnormal weather patterns have been reported in several parts of the world during recent months warns the American P&I Club. One of the latest examples is a significant build-up of sea ice in some major northern Chinese ports, the volume exceeding, it says, anything experienced in more than 30 years.
In an alert to its members, the club says the problem is centred around Bohai on the northern Yellow Sea coast, affecting ports such as Bayuquan and Dalian. At Bayuquan, patches of ice 500-600mm thick have formed in some places, while lesser patches have been seen in the immediate vicinity of the port.
Three icebreakers are working to avoid delays to ships, while the local Maritime Safety Authority is strictly supervising inbound and outbound vessel traffic.
Other northern ports ? such as Jingtang, Caofeidian and Xingang ? are said to be not so seriously affected. On January 17, the Chinese National Sea Weather Forecast Station reported that floating ice around Liaodong Gulf extended as far as some 60 nautical miles from shore, at Bohai Gulf around 22 miles, Northern Yellow Sea around 14 miles, and Laizhou Gulf around 33 miles.
However, with more cold weather fronts expected later, ice coverage around the Bohai coast could expand, according to the club"s correspondents in China, Huatai Agency & Consultant Services Ltd.
The club advises that vessels scheduled to call at northern ports, especially Bayuquan, should be ready for extreme temperatures and ensure Port State Control requirements are strictly followed to avoid unnecessary delay.