Tag: icebreakers

The Long Blue Line: America’s first ice ships and icebreakers

Color photograph of Northland, with cut-down masts, sitting in the ice in World War II’s Greenland Patrol. (U.S. Coast Guard)

During the Age of Sail, the seasonal pattern of icebound winters froze-in merchant vessels and reduced the wintertime demand for revenue cutters on the Great Lakes, in the Northeast and in the Mid-Atlantic States. In some cases, cutters were decommissioned in December, winterized and their crews dismissed until the spring thaw.

Heading south for winter: 26 people rescued trapped in Antarctic ice

The 157 crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star departed the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station Feb. 9, 2015 after successfully completing the surface vessel portion of Operation Deep Freeze 2015, which provided military logistical support to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program…

Headed south for the winter: Icebreaking 101

Cutter Polar Star breaking ice

Simple physics explains the process of icebreaking: two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. The 150-person crew of Polar Star uses that principle to open the channel for cargo and fuel ships to deliver vital supplies to the scientists and support personnel at McMurdo Station as part of Operation Deep Freeze.