Russian, Chinese Vessels Freed from Arctic Ice

MarineLink.com
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
The Icebreaker Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star experienced 50-knot winds, 20-foot seas and 40-degree rolls, Jan. 5, 2014. (Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star)

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star was released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority from search and rescue duties Jan. 7, following confirmation the Russian-Flagged Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese-Flagged Xue Long are free from the Antarctic ice due to a favorable change in wind conditions.

The Coast Guard Pacific Area command center received confirmation from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority at 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time that both ships broke through the heavy ice, rendering assistance from the Polar Star no longer necessary.

“We are extremely pleased to learn that both the Xue Long and the Akademik Shokalskiy freed themselves from the ice. This case underscores the dynamic and harsh operating environment and the necessity for Polar Class Icebreakers in the Antarctic. I am indebted to the tremendous collaboration with RCC Australia, other countries that assisted and the National Scientific Foundation throughout this operation,” said Vice Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander.” And I am especially proud of the crew of the Polar Star who have toiled these past several years in restoring this great cutter to Semper Paratus – Always Ready status, as she alters course for McMurdo and Operation Deep Freeze.”

“I am exceptionally proud of my crew in their ability to respond to this mission,” said Capt. George Pellissier, commanding officer of the Polar Star. “I, too, am extremely pleased that both the Akademik Shokalskiy and the Xue Long have been able to work their way free of the ice. We’re now looking forward to continuing on our primary mission of resupplying McMurdo Station.”

The Polar Star received the original request from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority  on Jan. 3 to assist the Russian-Flagged Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese-Flagged Xue Long, reportedly ice-bound in the Antarctic.  The Russian and Chinese governments also requested assistance from the United States. After resupplying in Sydney, the cutter was en route to the stranded vessels Jan. 4.

The Polar Star left its homeport of Seattle in December 2013 on one of its primary missions  Operation Deep Freeze. The ship’s mission is to break a channel through the sea ice of McMurdo Sound to allow the resupply and refueling of the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole stations.

The National Science Foundation manages all the scientific research and logistics of the U. S. Antarctic Program on the Antarctic continent and in the Southern Ocean. McMurdo Station is the logistics hub for the U.S. Antarctic Program research.

This is the first time since 2006 that the Polar Star has made this journey. It has recently completed a three-year, $90 million overhaul, which will allow it to continue these important missions into the foreseeable future.  For more than 50 years, Coast Guard icebreaker crews have deployed to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze.

The Polar Star is the U.S. Coast Guard’s only active heavy polar icebreaker. The ship is 399 feet in length and its maximum speed is 18 knots. The cutter is able to continuously break six feet of ice at three knots, and break 21 feet of ice backing and ramming.  The Polar Star is specifically designed for open-water ice breaking with a reinforced hull and special ice-breaking bow.

uscgnews.com

  • (Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star)

    (Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star)

Maritime Reporter February 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Zamakona, Finnish GS-Hydro Ink Deal

The presentation ceremony of the Finnish multinational leader in water services GS-Hydro, new partner of Zamakona Yards in Canarias was held yesterday (January 29th at 7 p.

Naval EXPO Coming to Washington

For the first time ever, the general public will be admitted free to the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO general exhibit hall Feb. 4-5 where they

Adani Group Revamps Businesses

Adani Enterprises Limited together with its subsidiaries Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (“APSEZ”) and Adani Power Limited (“APL”) today announced

Coast Guard

USCG Updates Rules for Arrival/Departure Notices, AIS

Final rule on vessel requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification System published in Federal Register   U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

Australia Bolsters SAR in Indian Ocean Region

AMSA leading program to strengthen search and rescue capabilities in Indian Ocean region   The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it has commenced

Dozens Missing off Bangladesh after Boat Sinks

About 40 illegal migrants heading from Bangladesh to Malaysia to look for work were missing on Thursday after their boat sank, police said. A steady stream of

Maritime Safety

Naval EXPO Coming to Washington

For the first time ever, the general public will be admitted free to the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO general exhibit hall Feb. 4-5 where they

PHA Budgets $ 275 mi for Capital Improvements

In 2015, the Port of Houston Authority has budgeted $275 million for various capital improvement projects. About $184 million is being allocated to its container

USCG Updates Rules for Arrival/Departure Notices, AIS

Final rule on vessel requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification System published in Federal Register   U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

Arctic Operations

Shell: UK Should Reduce North Sea Oil Tax

The British government should review a supplementary tax charge on North Sea oil producers as it has made the operation of some fields unrealistic, Shell Chief

Shell Eyes Arctic Drilling this Summer

Oil major Shell wants to revive its Arctic oil drilling programme this year after a near two-year suspension, angering environmentalists who say the risk of an oil spill is too high.

‘Landmark Year’ for RS in 2014

For Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), 2014 marked the 101st year of its activities. The classification society said 2014 also marked a landmark year,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1574 sec (6 req/sec)