This summer, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that the icebreaker Polar Sea experienced an engine casualty and would be unable to deploy its scheduled fall and winter 2010 cruise activities. The engine difficulty was discovered during a scheduled dry-dock maintenance period following their successful support of a spring 2010 Bering Sea Ecosystem Study (BEST) research cruise. The Polar Sea was commissioned in 1977 and has operated in the Arctic Ocean since 1979. As of spring 2010, Polar Sea had made 18 voyages to the Antarctic and 22 voyages to the Arctic. Repairs are anticipated to be complete in June 2011, readying the ship for service in August 2011.
For more information on the Polar Sea, see: http://www.uscg.mil/pacarea/cgcpolarsea/default.asp or contact the Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard Ice Operations Division, Lieutenant Commander Michael Krause (Michael.S.Krause [at] uscg.mil).