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Polar Star, only US icebreaker, returns to port in Seattle after 6 months in dry dock

Coast Guard Lt. Spencer Ross, and engineering officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, conducts an interview with a reporter from a local news outlet while standing on the dry dock floor below the Polar Star. The Polar Star is undergoing repairs and receiving equipment upgrades prior to it’s upcoming mission to Antarctica supporting Operation Deep Freeze where the cutter will assist re-supplying U.S. science operations in Antarctica. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Matthew S. Masaschi

SEATTLE — Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived home in Seattle Wednesday after 6 months in dry dock for maintenance.

The 399-foot, 13,000-ton cutter is the nation’s only operational heavy icebreaker.

“We successfully accomplished an annual dry dock availability valued at over $7.6 million,” stated Lt. Cmdr. Chris Pelar, Polar Star’s engineering officer. “More than 50 work items were completed while in dry dock. We will complete remaining maintenance requirements in Seattle before departing for our upcoming Antarctic deployment.”

The 42-year-old icebreaker will head for the Ross Sea and forcibly break through ice up to 21-feet thick to clear a channel so supply ships can reach Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, Scott-Amundsen South Pole Station and other international bases.

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