Polar Star to Depart for Antarctica Saturday, Nov. 13 –News Release

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star cuts through Antarctic ice in the Ross Sea near a large group of seals as the ship’s crew creates a navigation channel for supply ships, January 16, 2017. The resupply channel is an essential part of the yearly delivery of essential supplies to the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station.US Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley

united states coast guard

Media Advisory U.S. Coast Guard 13th District Pacific Northwest

MEDIA ADVISORY: America’s only heavy icebreaker departs Seattle homeport Saturday; bound for Antarctica

Nation's only heavy icebreaker reaches fast ice of Antarctica

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

Who: U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB-10) with crew and numerous scientists

What: Departing Seattle, en route to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze

When: Departing 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021

Where: U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle

SEATTLE — The United States’ only heavy icebreaker, Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB-10), is scheduled to depart its homeport in Seattle Saturday.

This annual journey to Antarctica is conducted in support of Operation Deep Freeze, a joint military service mission to resupply the United States Antarctic stations of the National Science Foundation, the lead agency for the United States Antarctic Program.

The women and men aboard the Polar Star conduct this essential mission to create a navigable path through ice as thick as 21 feet, to allow refuel and resupply ships to reach McMurdo Station, the largest Antarctic station and the logistics hub of the U.S. Antarctic Program.

The U.S. Coast Guard is recapitalizing its polar icebreaker fleet to ensure access to the Polar Regions, project U.S. sovereignty, and to protect the country’s economic, environmental and national security interests. To support this endeavor, the U.S. Coast Guard is exploring options to expand Base Seattle infrastructure to support the growing icebreaker fleet.

Media are encouraged to contact Coast Guard public affairs at 206-251-3237 to arrange an escort at Base Seattle to attend the ship’s departure. The commanding officer of the Polar Star, Capt. Willaim Woityra, may be available for virtual interview on Friday morning and in-person at 11 a.m. Saturday prior to the 1 p.m. departure.

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