Hopefully you have a better picture of what life is like aboard the Polar Star, and what it takes to operate it. The mission is still just beginning, so continue to check back as we look into the history and purpose of Operation Deep Freeze 2016, the art of icebreaking in Antarctica and many more glimpses into life on the south side of the planet.
The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star doesn’t sleep, not for a second. The cutter and its crew rotate through a daily cycle, like the Antarctic sun looking down on the icebreaker. Always moving, never setting. What’s going on above and below the deck? What does it take to run the nation’s only operational heavy icebreaker? There’s no better way to find out than living it. So join us for two days of 12-hour watch shifts: three four-hour watches from 8 a.m. (0800) to 8 p.m. (2000) each day. Start your coffee brewing; it’s going to be a long couple of days.
Every turned page of the calendar shows in the ice-bludgeoned, though sturdy, red hull. It’s not just a 399-foot chunk of metal. If observed correctly, the Polar Star is a book; chock full of the stories of every Coast Guardsman who ever sailed aboard.
Across the nation, more than 48,000 Coast Guard aids to navigation, commonly known as ATON, mark every navigable waterway, identifying navigational hazards and ensuring mariner safety. But what happens when navigational aids are knocked off course by a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood?
In the eighth video of this year’s top 10 competition, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Healy embarks on an expedition with the National Science Foundation-funded research program Geotraces in an endeavor to study trace elements in the world’s oceans.
Combined efforts between Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay and Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley broke ice in the Great Lakes to help a tug and barge travel from Sarnia, Ontario, to Windsor, Ontario, in less than a day. This time lapse is the sixth video nominee in this year’s top 10 competition!
During a patrol over the summer, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton thought they were going to find drugs but instead found turtles entangled in fishing gear. What happened next? Watch to find out!
Drug busts. Environmental responses. Security patrols. Lives saved. These daily operations, like many performed by the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard, largely go unseen by members of the public … until now.
There are so many Coast Guard men and women whose devotion to duty has put them in harm’s way that it would take a lifetime to write-up each and every story. Like many of these selfless Coast Guardsmen, Lt. John A. Pritchard went in harm’s way to save the lives of others only to sacrifice his own.
As the Arctic region continues to open up to development, the data gathered onboard Healy, as well as the Coast Guard’s ability to maintain access and presence in the Arctic, will become ever more essential to understanding how this part of the world works, and how to most responsibly exercise stewardship over the region.