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


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



Staff Author