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 January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Revisions Proposed for Seaway Practices and Procedures

Under agreement with the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is proposing to amend the joint Practices

The 2nd Ballast Water Management Summit

Sign-up for this year’s most in-depth exchange of information and best venue for BWT stakeholders to network and meet their regulatory peers is underway.   Infocast’s

Britain to Ban Fracking in National Parks

Britain said on Monday it would ban fracking in national parks, reversing a policy announced last year, in a concession to the opposition Labour Party which had

Coast Guard

Training Coastguards is Key to Tackling Piracy

Training and mentoring of coastguards in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia is essential if coastal nations are to have effective control over their Territorial Waters and Economic Zones,

26-year Jail Term Sought for Concordia Master

An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Monday to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people.

Coast Guard Cutter William Trump Commissioned

The Coast Guard Cutter William Trump was commissioned during a ceremony at Coast Guard Sector Key West Saturday Jan. 24, 2015. The Trump is the 11th fast response cutter in the Coast Guard fleet.

Maritime Safety

Training Coastguards is Key to Tackling Piracy

Training and mentoring of coastguards in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia is essential if coastal nations are to have effective control over their Territorial Waters and Economic Zones,

Winter Storm Closes New York/New Jersey Terminals

All marine terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey are expected to close around 3: 30 p.m. today and remain closed all day tomorrow as a severe winter

Seagull Secures Panama Flag Approval

Seagull Maritime said it has secured training center approval from the Panama Maritime Authority, marking the first time that an overseas company has done so following

Arctic Operations

Irving Celebrates Canadian AOPS Build Contract

Government of Canada & Irving Shipbuilding mark signing of $2.3 billion AOPS build contract; 3,600 Jobs across Canada generated from Irving’s NSPS commitments to

Sanctions Dampen Traffic on Russia's Arctic Route

Often heralded as new shipping lane, Arctic shipments fall. Western sanctions on Russia are restricting the Arctic shipping route along its north coast to

Fishing Vessel Sinks Off Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau personnel are responded to the sinking of the 80-foot fishing vessel Eyak approximately 13 miles south of Sitka Harbor, Monday.   Sector

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
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: 0.1389 sec (7 req/sec)