• 2020 March 28 10:53

    USCG Cutter Polar Star returns home from Operation Deep Freeze 2020

    The 150-member crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star returned Wednesday to their homeport of Seattle following a 123-day deployment to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2020, the USCG said in a press release.

    This mission marks the Polar Star’s 23rd journey to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze, an annual joint military service mission to resupply the United States Antarctic stations, in support of the National Science Foundation – the lead agency for the United States Antarctic Program. This year also marks the 63rd iteration of the annual operation.

    The Polar Star crew departed Seattle on Nov. 27, 2019, for their sixth deployment in as many years and traveled more than 26,350 miles through the North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans.

    In the Southern Ocean, the crew travelled through nearly 500 miles of pack ice and broke through 23 miles of fast ice in order to create a nearly 18-square-mile navigable channel to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Because of the efforts of the Polar Star crew, two resupply vessels and one tanker travelled to McMurdo Station unescorted in order to refuel and resupply U.S. Antarctic stations.

    This year’s operation required the construction of a temporary, modular mobile causeway to replace an ice pier, which disintegrated during Operation Deep Freeze 2018-2019. The modular pier required a three-day construction period prior to the offload of supplies, followed by a three-day deconstruction period at the conclusion of the mission.

    Three resupply ships required 23 days to offload 19.6 million pounds of cargo and 7.6 million gallons of fuel during this year’s operation, more than doubling the operation duration and capacity as previous years. Together, the three ships delivered enough fuel and critical supplies to sustain NSF operations throughout the year until Polar Star returns in 2021.

    Among the cargo offloaded were construction materials for a five-year, $460 million Antarctica Infrastructure Modernization for Science (AIMS) project to recapitalize McMurdo Station, South Pole Station and other American outposts on the continent.

    Additionally, the Polar Star crew also supported a team of U.S. government officials from the U.S. Department of State, National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Coast Guard who conducted a five-day inspection of foreign research stations, installations and equipment in Antarctica.

    The United States continues to promote Antarctica’s status as a continent reserved for peace and science in accordance with the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. The inspection serves to verify compliance with the Antarctic Treaty and its Environmental Protocol, including provisions prohibiting military measures and mining, as well as provisions promoting safe station operation and sound environmental practices.

    The team inspected three stations: Mario Zucchelli (Italy), Jang Bogo (South Korea), and Inexpressible Island (China). This was the fifteenth inspection of foreign research stations by the United States in Antarctica and the first since 2012.

    Inspections emphasize all of Antarctica is accessible to interested countries despite territorial claims and reinforce the importance of compliance with the Antarctic Treaty’s arms control provisions. The United States will present its report on the inspection at the next Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Helsinki, Finland, in May 2020.

    “I am very proud of the tenacity of this Polar Star crew,” said Coast Guard Capt. Greg Stanclik, commanding officer of the Polar Star. “158 crew members earned the Antarctic Service Medal during Operation Deep Freeze 2020. The words inscribed on the back of the medal are Courage, Sacrifice and Devotion. Each and every one exhibited the courage to make this 123-day Antarctic voyage, sacrificed time away from their loved ones and devoted themselves to executing this nationally critical mission.”

    Commissioned in 1976, the Polar Star is the United States’ only operational heavy icebreaker, capable of breaking ice up to 21 feet thick. Reserved for Operation Deep Freeze each year, the ship spends the winter breaking ice near Antarctica, and when the mission is complete, returns to dry dock in order to conduct critical maintenance and repairs in preparation for the next Operation Deep Freeze mission.

    If a catastrophic event, such as getting stuck in the ice, were to happen to the Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20) 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 50 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 to ensure continued national presence and access to the Polar Regions.

    In April 2019, the Coast Guard awarded VT Halter Marine Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi, a contract for the design and construction of the Coast Guard’s lead polar security cutter, which will also be homeported in Seattle. The contract also includes options for the construction of two additional PSCs.




2020 May 29

18:36 Port of Marseille Fos to constuct a new international ferry terminal
18:20 Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg boosts its infrastructure investments by 40%
18:06 PIL starts a new India Service - China India Express (CIX)
17:51 Petrotrans takes delivery of lead ship of Project RSD59
17:36 Rolls-Royce seals major contract covering complete MTU propulsion systems for Royal Navy Type 31 frigates
17:14 United Shipbuilding Corporation developed its own cargo ship design
17:06 ECSA welcomes TRAN opinion on future EU-UK partnership and urges rapid advancement of the talks in view of the looming deadline
16:15 Port Authorities pledging support to keep ports open during COVID-19 more than doubles within a month
15:52 Market of seaborne cargo transportation for wind farms is stable and expected to grow
15:46 Viking Line starts a passenger service from June 1
15:05 KiwiRail orders two new ferries
14:49 Admiral Makarov University introduced new GMDSS simulator class
14:05 Bollinger Shipyards delivers the USCGC MYRTLE HAZARD to the U.S. Coast Guard
13:41 Smart Delta Resources launches project to substantially reduce CO2 emissions in Scheldt-Delta region
13:09 Record engine powers world’s largest containership
12:48 Large amphibious ships of RF Navy's Black Sea Fleet conducted comprehensive exercise in sea training ground
12:30 Navigation season opens on Upper Lena and Lower Lena rivers
12:09 Global shipping body addresses the health concerns of seafarers during the COVID-19 pandemic
11:26 Vimpel Shipyard launches coast guard boat Lamantin of river-going design
11:03 LNG STS bunkering – ‚First-off‘ operations in France, Germany and Norway
10:28 Oil prices fall by over $1
10:09 DP World joins with TradeLens to digitize global supply chains
09:53 Bunker prices are stable at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia
09:35 Baltic Dry Index on May 28
09:20 Konecranes to deliver third mobile harbor crane to South Australia
09:17 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, May 29
08:46 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Africa, Mediterranean and North Europe

2020 May 28

18:37 CMA CGM ends ESS from North Europe, Scandinavia & Poland to West Med, East Med, Adriatic & North Africa
18:07 PortXchange results in shorter idle times on departure at APM Terminals Rotterdam
17:24 Independent Container Line starts new service from Cork to USA
17:20 Antwerp@C investigates potential for halving CO2 emissions in Port of Antwerp by 2030
16:49 Nevsky Shipyard launches lead ferry of Project PV22, Admiral Gennady Nevelskoy
16:17 Finland's new Water Traffic Act enters into force in June
16:05 Lubrizol joins the Getting to Zero Coalition
15:56 Wärtsilä high-efficiency propulsion solutions selected for special high-speed ferry
15:46 ABP keeps Britain trading in the safest way possible
15:02 Bunker prices show no considerable changes at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
14:38 Bunkering tanker intended for Baikal lake delivered to the customer
14:00 WinGD wins type approval for biggest and most powerful ever dual-fuel engines
13:00 Gasum partners up with the sustainable transport solution provider company Samskip
12:30 More Konecranes BOXHUNTER RTGs to Vietnam
12:00 Konecranes and Fluidmesh join forces to deliver world-first 100% wireless Automated Rubber Tired Gantry crane system
11:30 EPS and Equinor set sights on a trio of newbuild LPG dual-fuel vessels
11:09 Boskalis awarded two dredging contracts in Finland
10:51 Oil prices continue going down
10:30 DNV GL releases first ever traceability standard for reclaimed plastic
10:09 Port of Stockholm announces arrival of the first container ship at Norvik Port
09:44 CMA CGM announces Overweight Surcharge (OWS) from Asia to North Europe
09:37 Baltic Dry Index on May 27
09:19 Rosmorport released young trout into Ladoga lake
08:54 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, May 28

2020 May 27

18:36 Nexans wins major subsea HVDC cable contract from Greece's Ariadne Interconnection S.P.S.A
18:06 The lock gate of the Pierre Vandammelock at the port of Port of Zeebrugge gets decoupled and transported to the inner harbour for renovation works
17:36 Sales of “Honesty” - device to measure the level of liquid in tanks - exceeds 1,000 units
17:06 ZIM posts Q1 2020 results
16:58 NOVATEK-Murmansk obtains resident status at Advanced Special Economic Zone
16:31 Transport Ministry addressed with proposal to introduce criteria for coal ports to be acknowledged as dedicated ones
16:04 UN agencies call for urgent action on crew changes and keyworker designation for sea and air workers
15:59 Cai Mep International Terminal welcomes maiden call of TP17 service
15:13 Traficom extends validity of certain seafarers’ competency and proficiency certificates