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

News

Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Projects Proposed

Deepwater Horizon trustees announce agreement in principle for 10 Gulf early restoration projects   The trustees and BP have identified approximately $134 million

Oil Majors Push Offshore Players for 30% Cuts

Smart players leverage low debt, adjust work schedules, seek spot gigs and new markets 30%That’s the minimum level of capital expenditure cuts facing owners and operators of offshore rigs,

Iranian Flotilla a Factor in US Warship Deployment off Yemen

The Pentagon said on Tuesday the presence of a large convoy of Iranian cargo ships in the Arabian Sea was one factor in the U.S. decision to deploy additional warships

Coast Guard

Philippines Accuses China of Turning Water Cannon on its Fishing Boats

Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino

Response to Grounded Bulker Ongoing

UPDATE: U.S. Coast Guard responding to vessel aground in St. Lawrence Seaway   The U.S. Coast Guard reports it is continuing its response Tuesday to a 621-foot

UN Urges Europe to Put Asylum at Center of Migrant Debate

The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday urged European leaders to put the protection of migrants at the center of debate over the crisis in the Mediterranean and to do more to help Greece and Italy cope.

Maritime Safety

Iranian Flotilla a Factor in US Warship Deployment off Yemen

The Pentagon said on Tuesday the presence of a large convoy of Iranian cargo ships in the Arabian Sea was one factor in the U.S. decision to deploy additional warships

Philippines Accuses China of Turning Water Cannon on its Fishing Boats

Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino

Response to Grounded Bulker Ongoing

UPDATE: U.S. Coast Guard responding to vessel aground in St. Lawrence Seaway   The U.S. Coast Guard reports it is continuing its response Tuesday to a 621-foot

Arctic Operations

Simulation & Ice Navigation Training

In a anticipation of the growing need for deck officers and masters experienced in operating in ice covered waters and as evidenced by the relatively rapid increase

Icebreakers Ordered for Neft’s Novy Port Project

Aker Arctic’s icebreaker design selected for Gazprom Neft’s Novy Port project   Aker Arctic and Vyborg Shipyard have confirmed a contract for the design of two

Murmansk Region Head for Zoning Arctic Territories

Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun, at the first meeting of the State Commission for the development of the Arctic has proposed a change to the system of energy

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1698 sec (6 req/sec)