U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star crew members recently embarked on its journey from Seattle to the Arctic to support maritime security and enforcement in the area, including the Maritime Boundary Line shared by the U.S. and Russia.
The Polar Star usually heads to Antarctica to annually support Operation Deep Freeze, which involves resupplying stations to help the National Science Foundation, but the mission was cancelled as a COVID-19 safety precaution. The 44-year-old heavy icebreaker will instead conduct enforcement of illegal fishing and be part of Arctic training to help develop new operators, the agency said.
“Polar Star is poised to head into the cold, dark Arctic winter to carry out a historic mission,” said Capt. Bill Woitrya, the cutter’s commanding officer. “The ship is ready, and the crew is enthusiastic to embark on this adventure. We will defend U.S. interests in the region, and continue to hone our proficiency to operate in such a harsh, remote environment.”