McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Ramming our 399-foot cutter into ice over and over again? Yeah, we have a job for that... Each year when the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star visits Antarctica, its crew faces a unique challenge. Creating a navigable channel through a frozen sea to the National Science’s Foundation’s (NSF) McMurdo Station, where the ice is up to 10 feet thick, requires a particular set of skills. This is why the Polar Star is one of only two Coast Guard cutters with qualified ice pilots aboard.
Ice pilots are responsible for navigating the ship through different types of ice. On their way to Antarctica, ice pilots will first negotiate pack ice—large pieces of floating ice—before reaching the fast ice, which extends out from the shore and is attached to it. Learn More: https://goo.gl/tjTSUQ
Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Hëyob, a boatswain’s mate and ice pilot, navigates Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star through ice during Operation Deep Freeze 2018, Jan. 31, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.
The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star were in Antarctica to support of #OperationDeepFreeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed, or @nsfgov , U.S. Antarctic Program. The U.S. Coast Guard is uniquely trained and equipped to operate in the austere and unforgiving environments of the Polar regions. U.S. Coast Guard video by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen. #USAP #McMurdo #mcmurdostation #antarcticaexpedition #usantarcticprogram #rosssea #rossiceshelf #77degreessouth #Military #USCG @pacificcommand @pacificairforce