Troubled US Coast Guard icebreaker returns home after six months in dry dock

Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Masaschi
Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Masaschi

The US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived at its home port in Seattle on Wednesday, October 17, following a six-month maintenance period at Mare Island Dry Dock in Vallejo, California.

The 42-year-old icebreaker received extensive repairs and upgrades to engineering and electronic systems while completing the dry dock availability at Mare Island for the second time in as many years.

Polar Star received extensive overhauls to equipment, most notably in auxiliary systems, generator upgrades, and replacing propellers in preparation for supporting Operation Deep Freeze 2019, the US military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed US Antarctic Program.

Polar Star started the overhaul after completing an Antarctica mission in the first quarter of this year.

During that mission, the vessel suffered failure of one of its three main gas turbines as well as engine room flooding.

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