The Coast Guard’s only active heavy-duty polar icebreaker, the Polar Star, is on its way to Antarctica to help rescue two other ice breakers that are stuck in the solid ice. When the Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy became trapped in the ice last week, the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long was sent to help them and rescue the 52 passengers on board and is now also trapped.
A third icebreaker, the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis was sent to rescue the passengers from the Chinese icebreaker and was successful at breaking through the ice. It will be delivering the rescued passengers to Tasmania later this month.
The Coast Guard is hoping the Polar Star will be able to cut through the ice and help rescue the other two stranded ships. The Polar Star is an impressive ship and is used to traveling through the Antarctic ice and waters.
The Polar Star is 399 ft. long and has as much as 75,000 horsepower. It was recently remodeled and made stronger so it can cut through thicker pieces of ice and faster speeds, making it unstoppable.
The Polar Star is much more powerful than the two icebreakers that are stuck and should be able to cut through the ice without any problems. Even still, Retired Coast Guard Rear Adm. Jeffrey Garrett says that the boat will not be going in full blast and will be using satellite imagery to calculate the best route through the ice. Hopefully, it will be able to rescue the other two ships without any trouble.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.