The US Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star (WAGB-10) is back in service after almost seven years out of commission, and at a reactivation cost of over $90 million. The 1976-built ship, which can break ice 21ft thick, has been on ice trials in the Arctic since mid-June to test systems and train crew.
If all goes well, she will be employed to break ice into McMurdo Station on Ross Island, Antarctica later this year, a mission that has required the use of chartered foreign icebreakers over recent years. The US Coast Guard has not had an operational heavy icebreaker since sistership Polar Sea’s engines failed in 2010, and she is still in lay-up while her fate is determined. JS