Polar Star Departs Antartica

By Karen Robes Meeks

After supporting Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) has left McMurdo Station and is on its way back to its Seattle, Wash., homeport.

On its 23rd journey to Antarctica, the 399-foot, 13,000-ton cutter carved out ice to open a 23-mile channel to McMurdo Sound, allowing three logistics vessels to unload more than 19.5 million pounds of dry cargo and 7.6 million gallons of fuel. These supplies will keep National Science Foundation operations going until Polar Star returns in 2021, according to USCG.

“I am immensely proud of all the hard work and dedication the men and women of the Polar Star demonstrate each and every day,” said Greg Stanclik, commanding officer of the Polar Star. “Maintaining and operating a 44-year-old ship in the harshest of environments takes months of planning and preparation, long workdays and missed holidays, birthdays and anniversaries with loved ones. The Polar Star crew truly embodies the ethos of the Antarctic explorers who came before us – courage, sacrifice and devotion.”

By Sarah Spangler