MEDIA ADVISORY: America's only heavy icebreaker departs Seattle Wednesday; bound for Antarctica

united states coast guard 

Media Advisory  

U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area
Contact: Coast Guard Pacific Area Public Affairs
Pacific Area online newsroom

MEDIA ADVISORY: America's only heavy icebreaker departs Seattle Wednesday; bound for Antarctica

Polar Star and crew in Antarctica

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

What: Polar Star and crew are scheduled to depart Seattle, en route to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze

When: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022 at 2 p.m.

Where: U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle

SEATTLE — The United States' only heavy icebreaker, Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, is scheduled to depart its Seattle homeport, Wednesday.

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 Polar Star crew conducts 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 District 13 Public Affairs at 206-251-3237 or to arrange an escort at Base Seattle to attend the ship's departure. The commanding officer of the Polar Star, Capt. Keith Ropella, may be available for interview prior to the ship’s departure.