• 2019 January 23 13:27

    Coast Guard’s only heavy icebreaker arrives at Antarctica

    The 150 crewmembers of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived Thursday in Antarctica along with a resupply vessel during Operation Deep Freeze – a joint military service mission to resupply U.S. interests in Antarctica, the USCG press release said.

    Homeported in Seattle, the 42-year-old Coast Guard cutter is the United States’ only operational heavy icebreaker, and the crew is making their sixth deployment in as many years to directly support the resupply of McMurdo Station – the United States’ main logistics hub in Antarctica.

    Operation Deep Freeze is a joint military service mission in support of the National Science Foundation – the lead agency for the United States Antarctic Program. Since 1955, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has assisted in providing air and maritime support throughout the Antarctic continent. This year marks the 63rd iteration of the annual operation.

    Each year, the Polar Star crew creates a navigable path through seasonal and multi-year ice, sometimes as much as 21-feet thick, to allow a resupply vessel to reach McMurdo Station. The supply delivery allows Antarctic stations to stay operational year-round, including during the dark and tumultuous winter.

    The 399-foot, 13,000-ton Polar Star arrived after completing an 18-mile trip through the ice to McMurdo Sound, where 400 containers will be offloaded from the supply ship Ocean Giant.

    Presently, the U.S. Coast Guard maintains two icebreakers – the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, which is a medium icebreaker, and the Polar Star. Protecting national interests in the Polar regions is essential to ensure the Coast Guard’s national defense strategy and search and rescue capabilities are ready for action, but in order to do so, the icebreaker fleet requires modernization.

    Commissioned in 1976, the Polar Star is showing its age. Reserved for Operation Deep Freeze each year, the Polar Star spends the winter breaking ice near Antarctica, and when the mission is complete, the Polar Star returns to dry dock in order to complete critical maintenance and repairs in preparation for the next Operation Deep Freeze mission. Once out of dry dock, the ship returns to Antarctica, and the cycle repeats itself.

    During this year’s deployment, one of the ship’s electrical systems began to smoke, causing damage to wiring in an electrical switchboard, and one of the ship’s two evaporators used to make drinkable water failed.

    The ship also experienced a leak from the shaft that drives the ship’s propeller, which halted icebreaking operations in order to send scuba divers in the water to repair the seal around the shaft. A hyperbaric chamber on loan from the U.S. Navy aboard the ship allows Coast Guard divers to make external emergency repairs and inspections of the ship’s hull.

    The Polar Star also experienced ship-wide power outages while breaking ice. Crew members spent nine hours shutting down the ship’s power plant and rebooting the electrical system in order to remedy the outages.

    If a catastrophic event, such as getting stuck in the ice, were to happen to the Healy in the Arctic or to the Polar Star near Antarctica, the U.S. Coast Guard is left without a self-rescue capability.

    By contrast, Russia currently operates more than 40 icebreakers – several of which are nuclear powered.

    The Coast Guard has been the sole provider of the nation’s polar icebreaking capability since 1965, and is seeking to increase its icebreaking fleet with six new Polar Security Cutters in order to ensure continued national presence and access to the Polar Regions.

    “While we focus our efforts on creating a peaceful and collaborative environment in the Arctic, we’re also responding to the impacts of increased competition in this strategically important region,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. “Our continued presence will enable us to reinforce positive opportunities and mitigate negative consequences today and tomorrow.”




2020 July 6

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18:27 CMA CGM to launch Round the Africa service
18:07 APM Terminals Buenos Aires facilitates first ever export of lemons from Argentina to China
17:31 Northern Sea Route cargo traffic in 6M’2020 reached 14.8 million tonnes
17:30 Kloosterboer starts construction of Cool Port II at City Terminal Rotterdam
17:06 ArcelorMittal issues invitation to tender for heat network in North Sea Port
16:45 Damen delivers five zero emissions propulsion ferries to Arriva in Copenhagen
16:12 Kvaerner improves financial results and outlook
15:32 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO fell to RUB 9,623 in RF spot market
15:08 EMSA’s RPAS to support Finnish, Estonian and Swedish Coast Guard functions
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13:33 Throughput of Port Vysotsky in 6M’2020 fell by 16.5% YoY
13:10 CMA CGM announces PSS from the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East Gulf, Red Sea & Egypt Red Sea ports to the US Gulf, US East Coast & Canada East Coast
12:00 Sembcorp Marine President & CEO appointed Co-chair of International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation
11:01 A.P. Moller - Maersk to acquire European specialist KGH Customs Services
11:00 The car carrier Höegh Xiamen declared a constructive total loss after fire
10:31 IMO is holding an informal (virtual) preliminary discussion session on short-term measures for reducing GHG emissions from ships
10:22 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 06
10:00 GTT receives an order from Zvezda for the tank design of five ARC7 ice-breaking LNG carriers
09:56 Republic of Korea implements national sulphur emission control area
09:47 Tallink Grupp cancels Riga-Saaremaa direct special trip
09:29 AS Tallink Grupp published its statistics for June 2020 and 2Q of 2020 financial year
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2020 July 5

15:02 FURUNO acquire EMRI A/S, Danish based provider of advanced ships Maneuvering and Steering Systems
14:51 HamiltonJet partners with RIBCRAFT to power 48 US Navy RHIBs
13:42 Ingalls Shipbuilding awarded $936 million contract to build navy destroyer
12:18 Huisman to deliver offshore mast crane for wind turbine installation in Taiwan
10:44 USCG assists disabled vessels near Freeport, Texas

2020 July 4

15:01 APL announces storage arrangements for China reefer imports
14:39 MAN to supply compression technology for offshore gas production
13:28 Naval Group selected iXblue to supply navigation systems for Gowind-class vessels
12:33 USCG halts illegal charter, rescues 2 on disabled jet ski near Venetian Causeway Bridge
11:04 DNV GL: Ports can be the front runners of the energy transition, if port authorities and industry sectors join forces

2020 July 3

18:37 DistriRail adds its rail schedules to the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s Navigate tool
18:07 ClassNK releases amendments to class rules
17:44 Possibilities of digital transformation of military shipbuilding to be discussed at "ARMY-2020" forum
17:05 ECSA welcomes study on social aspects within the maritime transport sector
16:50 Rosmorrechflot warns about Russia’s risk to move from White to Grey list of Paris MoU
16:24 11 major international companies join forces to accelerate the energy transition in transport and logistics
15:48 Hydrographic Company and MRTS sign contract on construction of Utrenny terminal facilities
15:10 CMA CGM announces rates from Asia to Red Sea
14:43 ABP publishes its Annual Review 2020
14:10 Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal takes delivery of two mobile harbor cranes
13:12 Alfa Laval wins SEK 130 million offshore order in China
12:26 Throughput of port Azov in 6M’2020 fell by 15% YoY
12:01 ICS launches Guidance for Engine Room Safety
11:47 North-Western Shipping Company merges into Volga-Fleet
11:15 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Europe
10:59 Finnlines announces bunker surcharge for Malmö-Travemünde-Malmö
10:13 Ocean Yield takes delivery of newcastlemax dry bulk newbuilding
10:12 GTT and Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex sign a Technical Assistance and License Agreement for the construction of LNG carriers incorporating membrane tank systems
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09:16 Oil prices start decreasing
09:09 Baleària presents a proposal for the construction and operation of the new passenger terminal in the Port of Valencia

2020 July 2

18:37 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
18:04 ClassNK releases Annual Report on Port State Control
18:04 CMA CGM updates PSS for Reefer Cargo from North Europe, Scandinavia, Poland & Baltic, West Med & Adriatic to the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East Gulf & Red Sea
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