Coast Guard Cutter Healy visits Honolulu, open for tours

HealyHONOLULU — The Coast Guard Cutter Healy arrived in Honolulu, Wednesday, for a port visit before continuing on a four-month Arctic deployment.

This port call is Healy’s first stop in Hawaii since 2011.

The Healy will be open to the public for tours Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Pier 11. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed aboard the cutter. Coast Guard crewmembers will be standing by to answer questions about Healy and upcoming operations.

This summer, the Healy crew will provide presence and access to conduct three major missions focusing on the biology, chemistry, geology, and physics of the Arctic Ocean and its ecosystems, as well as performing multi-beam sonar mapping of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS).

For the first mission, the Healy crew will work with 46 researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Alaska-Anchorage. The mission will employ the Global Explorer remotely operated vehicle, net trawls, bottom cores and conductivity, temperature, and depth casts to assess the biological diversity of the Chukchi Sea. The team of scientists will use cutting edge technology to identify and document the species living in this poorly understood and rapidly changing region.

Performing their second mission, the Healy crew will deploy an array of acoustic bottom moorings in support of researchers from Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Office of Naval Research. The moorings will collect data on how climate change and decreased ice coverage is affecting the Arctic Ocean.

The final mission is in support of the State Department and the White House Office of Science and Technology. Researchers from the University of New Hampshire will use multi-beam sonar mapping and bottom dredging in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean to further support the demarcation of the ECS.  This work will directly support the United States’ claim for natural resources found on or beneath the ocean floor.

The Healy is the nation’s premiere high latitude research vessel. The cutter is a 420 foot long icebreaker with extensive scientific capabilities. Based out of Seattle, the cutter has a permanent crew of 87. Its primary mission is scientific support. In addition, as a Coast Guard Cutter, Healy is capable of other operations such as search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, and the enforcement of laws and treaties in the Polar Regions.

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