Cutter Healy Begins Arctic West Summer 2010 Mission

SEATTLE – The nation’s largest ice breaker, Coast Guard Cutter Healy, departed Pier 36 in Seattle Sunday to begin the Arctic West Summer 2010 (AWS10) mission.

Healy is traveling to Honolulu for a port call before heading north to Dutch Harbor, Alaska and then on to the Arctic for four months of research. The crew of the Healy has spent the winter in Seattle, conducting necessary maintenance and preparation for the summer mission.

Healy will spend the summer underway in the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean for the three separate components of its AWS10 mission. During the first component of the patrol the crew will be working with researchers from NASA to collect and study water samples.

The second component will be the Healy’s third of three-year collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent to map the floor of the Arctic Ocean, which will help create a more complete picture of the topographical features of the Arctic seafloor.

The third component will include deploying several types of hydrographic moorings and recovering hydrographic moorings deployed on earlier missions.

Healy, which was commissioned in 2000, is the newest and largest of the nation’s three polar icebreakers. Coast Guard Cutter Healy is 420 feet long and has extensive scientific capabilities. Homeported in Seattle, Healy has a permanent crew of 80 and serves a primary mission of scientific support. In addition, Healy is also capable of missions such as logistics, search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection and the enforcement of laws and treaties in the Polar Regions.

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