Captain David J. Visneski, was relieved as Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Cutter HEALY today by Captain Daniel K. Oliver in a ceremony held onboard the cutter today.
Under Captain Visneski’s leadership, HEALY sailed over 70,000 miles in completing three highly successful Polar deployments. The Coast Guard’s newest and largest icebreaker executed two scientific deployments to the Arctic and also completed a deployment to Antarctica.
During the Arctic East Summer 2001 scientific mission to the eastern Arctic, scientists onboard HEALY discovered 12 underwater volcanoes, recovered over 8 tones of geological samples from the ocean floor, and even discovered a new species of shrimp. HEALY also became only the second U.S. surface ship to reach the North Pole during that deployment. While underway for Arctic West Summer 2002 in the western Arctic, HEALY supported 14 science parties simultaneously while providing the foundation for the most comprehensive science mission ever undertaken by a surface ship in the Arctic. Just recently, HEALY completed a successful emergency three month deployment to Antarctica when unprecedented ice conditions resulted in the need for a second icebreaker to enable the annual re-supply mission for the U.S. science station at McMurdo Station. HEALY and Coast Guard cutter POLAR SEA completed the annual break-in to McMurdo Station allowing both a container ship and a tanker to deliver essential supplies that allow ongoing scientific research efforts to continue on the frozen continent.
Captain Visneski is retiring to the Seattle area after more than 27 years of Coast Guard service. He and his wife, Donnaann, will reside in Kent, WA.
Captain Oliver assumes command
of HEALY after serving as the Chief of Cutter Logistics at the Coast Guard’s Engineering Logistics Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
HEALY departs on 13 June for another challenging Arctic scientific deployment that will take the ship to Baffin Bay in the Eastern Arctic, through the Northwest Passage and into the Western Arctic in support of three more scientific missions. The cutter will return to Seattle in the fall.