This study investigates whether the vessels remain within their operational limitations in ice using the risk index calculated based on the Polar Operational Limitations Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS) — an acceptable methodology for the assessment of operational limitations in ice infested waters, referenced in the Polar Code of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The speeds and positions of the vessels in the Kara Sea region were analyzed from January through April for 2017–2019 using the navigational data provided by the Northern Sea Route Administration. For each vessel, except for the icebreakers, the risk index based on POLARIS was calculated using the open-access ice information that was provided by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in Russia. The variation of risk index was analyzed with respect to various parameters such as the ice-class of the vessel, the reported operating speed of the vessel, and the built year of the vessel. Furthermore, we explored the limitations of the risk assessment system as well as the limitations of the available ice information and its implications on the risk assessment system. This paper reports preliminary results from the analysis.

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