Former Polar Sea Crewmember Returns as Commanding Officer

SEATTLE – Capt. Carl J. Uchytil will relieve Capt. Bruce L. Toney as commanding officer of the Polar Sea during a change of command ceremony here Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

This will be Uchytil’s second tour aboard the Polar Sea. Uchytil’s first assignment in the Coast Guard was to the Polar Sea in 1984 and while Uchytil was aboard Polar Sea in 1985, the ship completed a solo circumnavigation transit around the North American continent, an historic first. Uchytil is a native of Toledo, Iowa.

The change of command ceremony will take place aboard the cutter moored at the Coast Guard Integrated Support Command here.

The Polar Sea is a 399-foot icebreaker designed to operate in both polar regions. Six diesel-electric engines, or three gas turbines for thick ice, provide ample power to three propellers. The reinforced hull is shaped to ride up on the ice which is then broken under the ship’s weight. Polar Sea accommodates two Coast Guard HH-65C Dolphin helicopters which can be carried during polar deployments for science and logistics support. Berthing is provided for a crew of approximately 150 men and women while recreational facilities include a library, exercise room, and daily movies to maintain crew morale during lengthy deployments. Polar Sea is equipped to function as a major scientific platform with five internal laboratories and accommodations for as many as 35 scientists and technicians. Polar Sea can accommodate an additional seven portable science laboratories on deck. Real-time satellite images processed aboard aid in ice navigation, science planning and weather forecasting.

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