Coast Guard ice breaker Healy to visit Seward

Juneau, Alaska – The Coast Guard Cutter Healy, the Coast Guard’s largest ice breaker, is scheduled to arrive at Alaska Railroad Passenger Dock in Seward Saturday.

The Healy will be making its first port call after departing Seattle Monday to begin a three month patrol to Barrow where the cutter will begin the last two phases of Arctic West Summer 2009.

The early August mission will focus on retrieving moorings deployed last summer by the Healy crew as well as deploy new moorings. These moorings include hydrographic, oceanographic and meteorological equipment. Each mooring will remain for approximately one year and gather information relating to whale movements and oceanographic events. The chief scientist, Dr. Robert Pickart, is returning this year.

The second mission is a joint mission with the Canadian Coast Guard ship Louis S. St. Laurent. This joint mission is a continuation from last summer to map the floor of the Beaufort Sea. Dr. Larry Mayer is the chief scientist for this mission.

Homeported in Seattle, Wash., the Healy has 80 permanent crewmembers and a primary mission of scientific support. The Healy is designed to conduct a wide range of research activities by providing more than 4,200 square feet of scientific laboratory space, numerous electronic sensor systems, oceanographic winches and accommodations for up to 50 scientists.

The Healy is designed to break more than four feet of ice continuously at three mph and can operate in temperatures as low as 50 below zero. At a time when scientific interest in the Arctic Ocean basin is intensifying the cutter substantially enhances the United States Arctic research capability.

The Healy will not be open for public tours.

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