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Ice breaker comes calling

Vilimaina Naqelevuki
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

THE United States Coast Guard cutter Polar Star, one of the world's most powerful, ice breakers docked for the first time at the Kings Wharf in Suva yesterday.

The cutter was built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Company in Seattle Washington. The keel was laid on May 15, 1972.

Giving information about the Polar Star, assistant operations officer Lieutenant Samuel Krakower said: "The ship was first launched in 1973 and was commissioned in 1976, she's 42 years strong, old but gets the job done."

Commading officer Captain Mike Davanzo said the US Coast Guard cutter was the only fully operational heavy ice breaker in the US.

"It's the United States' only heavy ice breaker, the only operational heavy ice breaker in the United States," Capt Davanzo said.

Three centimetres of steel make up the ship and Capt Davanzo said it could break up to a 24-kilometer channel of 2.5 metres of ice.

"The ship could break ice up to 24km ice channel up to 2.5 m and we could even break up to 6.4m of ice," he said.

The ship runs on a 75,000 horsepower engine and according to Capt Davanzo once they run on heavy ice it uses its three jet engines.

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