Friday, October 26, 2018

Polar Star Out of Drydock

By Karen Robes Meeks

The new and improved US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star – the nation’s only operational heavy icebreaker – has returned to Seattle, Wash., after six months at Mare Island Dry Dock in Vallejo, California. The 42-year-old icebreaker receive extensive work to its engineering and electronic systems.

Polar Star’s repairs and upgrades will make it ready to support Operation Deep Freeze 2019, the US military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation managed US Antarctic Program, according to the Coast Guard.

“We successfully accomplished an annual dry dock availability valued at over $7.6 million,” stated Lt. Cmdr. Chris Pelar, Polar Star’s engineering officer. “More than 50 work items were completed while in dry dock. We will complete remaining maintenance requirements in Seattle before departing for our upcoming Antarctic deployment.”

Polar Star is a 399-foot, 13,000-ton cutter that can break through up to 21-feet thick ice to clear the way for supply ships to reach Antarctica’s logistics hub, McMurdo Station, Scott-Amundsen South Pole Station and other international bases, according to the Coast Guard.