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Every year 20,000 to 40,000 icebergs are born out of glaciers in Greenland and carried away by the currents and into the North Atlantic where they threaten ships and oil installations off the coast of Newfoundland. An iceberg millions of tons in weight, don’t just bump into things – they slice through steel hulls and cause irreparable damage to offshore oil rigs. While a ship can alter course to avoid collision, an oil rig can only remain stationary watching in horror as a ten million-ton floating piece of ice approaches.

Instead, oil rigs hire independent ice management contractors whose job is to monitor movement of icebergs in the vicinity of the oil platform. When a particular iceberg is found to make a beeline for an offshore asset, its operators are alerted so that the rogue piece of ice can be towed out of harm’s way.

towing-iceberg-1

Towing an iceberg from a collision course with Hibernia oil platform. Photo by Randy Olson

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© Amusing Planet, 2014.


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