892 - 06/13 - Port of Red Dog - Alaska

Members who have vessels which call the Port of Red Dog/Kivalina Alaska should review the below Port of Red Dog General Information.

Each summer, the ice conditions determine when the port will open and this could be any time between early June and early July. All enquiries regarding the Port should be made to North Pacific Maritime


Red Dog is a port established specifically to support the associated Lead and Zinc mine. It is a very remote location of Alaska and there are no services, including no provisions, repairs, freshwater or bunkers, available. Red Dog is situated in Lat. 67 34'42" North, Long. 164 03'30" West; Northeast of The Bering Strait near the small town of Kivalina, Alaska.

Vessels are anchored about 3 miles off shore and the ore concentrates are brought out to the ship by self unloading barges.  Navigation and approach to the Red Dog anchorage are covered by NOAA chart No. 16005. For additional information regarding navigation to the Red Dog Mine Port site, please refer to U.S. Coastal Pilot, volume 9.

This is a compulsory pilotage area and the pilot station is located approximately 12 miles from the loading anchorage.


Water depth at the anchorage varies from 50 ft. inshore to 72 ft. offshore (17m to 22m) and likewise the surveyed approach changes depth progressively with a slight gradient.

There is a steady current at the anchorage that runs parallel to the shore in a Northwesterly direction and vessels will tend to lie head into this predominant feature.

Although the anchorage can accommodate more vessels, usually no more than three vessels will be anchored at any one time, leaving ample room for final maneuvering, safely mooring and lying at anchor.

The seabed in this area is flat, being comprised of silty sand with a firm muddy stratum lying just below, and has proved an excellent holding ground. Properly anchored vessels can safely withstand winds of up to 45 kts.

The sea swell, when not coming from the 3rd and 4th quadrant, is short and lacks effective energy, and pitching, if any, is minimal. 
An anchor chain length of no less than 8 shackles should provide ample holding with the second anchor kept ready to be lowered to the bottom to reduce yawing should squally conditions develop.

With vessels loading up to drafts of about 45 feet or 13.72 meters, it is intended that the under keel clearance will generally be no less than 10 feet in the loaded condition.


The self unloading barges carry 5440 WMT of concentrate and transfer it at about 1200MT/hour, net of shifting. 
This is weather permitting because the barges cannot safely stay alongside the ship if the sea swell exceeds about 2 meters. 

Spout trimming is done very effectively by the barge loader and the barges are fitted with their own Yokohama-type fendering, so no special fittings are required.


As the ocean vessel loads outside the three statute mile limit, the vessel is not deemed by Customs to have entered into the United States. There is, therefore, no requirement to Enter In or Clear Out the vessel with Customs. 
However the USCG and CBP consider a vessel within the twelve mile limit to have entered U.S. territorial waters and that they have the right to board and do require filing of the 96 hr ENOA.   

USCG regulations regarding U.S. COFR require vessels to submit a Non-Tank Vessel
Response Plan (NTVRP) prior to operating in specific U.S. waters that identifies the contracted Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) capable to respond to worst case discharge in each U.S. area in which the vessel may transit or operate.  The only OSRO operating in this area is Alaska Chadux Corporation.  Vessels need to have their Oil Spill Response service provider obtain coverage with CHADUX for OSRO coverage under the federal or OPA 90 requirements.

Vessels will be outside Alaska State Waters so are not required to have an Alaska Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) or an Alaska State Contingency Plan

Vessels must be prepared to have inspections by Coast Guard officials who may board on a
random basis to conduct Port State Control examinations. Adherence to S.O.L.A.S. Regulations, nautical publications and requirements imposed at usual U.S. ports is of paramount importance. The emphasis will probably apply essentially to vessels that have not had an USCG Port State Control inspection for six months or longer.

Please remember that it is the Owner’s responsibility to ensure all required publications are on board. In the event any publications are needed, North Pacific Maritime may be of assistance and as such please advise immediately if any publications are required.


Ice reduction and melt in the Bering Sea begins in late April and early May as the ice edge in the southern Bering Sea gradually retreats northward. A lead of open water usually begins to push northward into the Bering Sea by the end of May. Ice reduction is rapid during the month of June with the last ice to clear the region generally in late June to early July being composed of a strip of ice that runs along the north side of Kotzebue Sound.

Strips of ice may also be present in the northern Bering Sea into the first week of July, particularly around St. Lawrence Island and mariners should be aware of this possibility when transiting the area in the early summer. All ice clears the access to the Red Dog port by early to mid July and ice free conditions persist until late October each year.

For further information please contact:

North Pacific Maritime
Anchorage, Alaska
Phone: 907-272-6145
Fax: 907-276-0033


Source of Information: 

George Radu

Thomas Miller (Americas)
San Francisco, USA


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Stuart Edmonston
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Stuart, a Master Mariner, joined Thomas Miller’s Loss Prevention department in 2014. Prior to this he worked as casualty investigator for a leading shipping law firm and was at sea on a variety of different ship types including crude oil tankers, freight ferries, passenger ships and offshore drilling units, where he sailed as Barge Master.

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Petar Modev
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Petar joined Thomas Miller as Loss Prevention Executive in 2014 having previously worked at Sea as a Watch Keeping Officer for the past eight years.

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David is a Master Mariner joining Thomas Miller in June 2014, after gaining a wealth of experience both at sea and ashore. After leaving the sea, he was employed as a claims manager with a Piraeus based P&I correspondent for 2 years before joining a well-respected and busy marine surveying consultancy in Greece. In 1997, David established his own marine consultancy, with the majority of work being P&I related. From 2010 until joining Thomas Miller, he was employed as a claims executive with another Group P&I Club, handling a wide variety of P&I and FD&D claims as well as being actively involved in their Loss Prevention initiatives.

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Captain Chris Roberts
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Chris joined Thomas Miller in March 2001, after a long seagoing career in all types of tankers. 
Joined Shell Tankers in 1969 as cadet and sailed with them until 1977 rising to Second Officer, then joined Silver Line (V.Ships UK) and sailed in Chemical Tankers and LPG vessels.

From 1983 until December 2000 he served as master for V Ships in LPG, Chemical and Product carriers, including 1 special OBO. 

Chris is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and a qualified Lead Auditor for ISM.

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Alex Sandom
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Alex joined the UK Club as a Loss Prevention Technician in June 2014 supporting the loss prevention team. Alex started at Thomas Miller in 2012 at the TT Club as part of the Information Management Team where he provided administrative support to the claims team. 

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Captain Anuj Velankar
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Tony joined Thomas Miller as a Ship Inspector. After passing a degree in Marine Engineering and becoming Chief Engineer, he came ashore as Superintendent and then Marine Surveyor / Consultant.

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Markus Westphal joined Thomas Miller in June as a Risk Assessor. Previously worked as a ships master on Container ships.

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