GAO Identifies Multiple Risks Facing $9.8 Billion Polar Icebreaker Program

The U.S. government's $9.8 billion polar icebreaker program is facing risks across multiple key areas which still need to be address before resources are committed, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report on the program. To maintain heavy polar icebreaking capability, the Coast Guard and the Navy are collaborating to acquire up to three new heavy polar … [Read more...]

Bollinger Would Build New Coast Guard Icebreakers in Tampa

Bollinger Shipyards says it will build the U.S. Coast Guard’s new icebreakers at its facilities in Tampa, Florida if it is eventually selected as the main contractor in the $2.1 billion program. The Louisiana-based shipbuilder announced on Monday it has selected Tampa Shipyard for the design and construction of up to three heavy polar icebreakers, and three additional medium … [Read more...]

You Know About Harbor Pilots But WTF Is An Ice Pilot?

By Nick Ameen (USCG) Each year when the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star visits Antarctica, its crew faces a unique challenge. Creating a navigable channel through a frozen sea to the National Science’s Foundation’s (NSF) McMurdo Station, where the ice is up to 10 feet thick, requires a particular set of skills. This is why the Polar Star is one of only two Coast Guard cutters … [Read more...]

America’s Only Heavy Icebreaker Experienced Flooding, Engine Failure During Annual Antarctic Supply Mission

The United States' only operational heavy icebreaker suffered both flooding and engine failure during this year's icebreaking mission to Antarctica. Despite these challenges, however, the USCGC Polar Star completed its Antarctic mission this week in support of National Science Foundation (NSF) after cutting a resupply channel through 15 miles of ice in the Ross Sea and … [Read more...]