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