World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Polar Star to assist trapped ships

Polar Star to assist trapped ships, will carry out channel-breaking mission

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star is responding to a request from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to assist the Russian-flagged Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese-flagged Xue Long, which are ice-bound in Antarctic waters about 850 nautical miles (978 statute miles) from McMurdo Station.

The Russian and Chinese governments have also requested assistance from the United States government.

The decision to divert the icebreaker from its primary mission of creating a channel through the sea ice of McMurdo Sound to allow for annual resupply and refueling of U.S. Antarctic Program stations was made in consultation with officials of the National Science Foundation (NSF), who are cautiously optimistic that the delays caused by the rescue mission will not have a severe impact on the Antarctic Program.

By leaving Sydney, where the vessel was carrying out a port call, two days early, the Polar Star is currently scheduled to break the trapped ships free and arrive in McMurdo approximately one week later than originally planned.

The Polar Star’s captain estimates that the ship needs approximately 10 days to render assistance to the ships (time to transit to the ships and additional time for breaking the ships free). The Polar Star will carry out the McMurdo break-in immediately after concluding the vessel-assistance mission.

This is the first time since 2006 that the Polar Star has made the Antarctic journey. It has recently completed a three-year, $90 million overhaul, which will allow it to continue these important missions into the foreseeable future. For more than 50 years, Coast Guard icebreaker crews have deployed to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze.
The Coast Guard’s Pacific Area Command Center received the AMSA request Thursday evening, Jan. 3, after AMSA evaluated the situation and determined there is sufficient concern that the Russian and Chinese vessels may not be able to free themselves from the ice.

AMSA has been coordinating rescue operations since the Akademik Shokalskiy was first trapped in the ice on Dec. 24. The Polar Star left its homeport of Seattle in early December en route to Antarctica to carry out its mission in support of the USAP.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


21 Egyptians Beheaded

Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. More>>

Protests In Bil’in Honoring Slain US Citizens

Protesters at demonstration in Bil’in honoring slain US citizens face attacks and arrests by Israeli forces. More>>

Resolution Targeting Sources Of Financing For ISIL

Ambassadors representing two countries under attack from ISIL, Bashar Ja’afari (right) of Syria, and Mohamed Ali Alhakim of Iraq, speak to journalists following the adoption of a Security Council resolution targeting sources of financing for ... More>>

ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - Support for Authorization for Use of Military Force
  • "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    ISM Honours Kayla Mueller

    Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the popular committee in the village of Bil’in where Kayla joined the protests, told ISM: “Kayla came to Palestine to stand in solidarity with us. She marched with us and faced the military that occupies our ... More>>


    US Measles Outbreak: UN Urges Parents Vaccinate Children

    3 February 2015 – Parents in the United States must vaccinate their children against measles in order to maintain the high levels of immunity necessary in keeping outbreaks of the aggressively contagious virus small and contained, the United Nations World ... More>>

    Ebola: Large-Scale Vaccine Trials Under Way In Liberia

    WHO welcomed the donation by the Public Health Agency of Canada of 800 vials of one of the leading candidate Ebola vaccines, rVSV-ZEBOV. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro (file) More>>

    Security Council Denounce Murder Of Jordanian Pilot

    3 February 2015 – For the second time in as many days, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Security Council have jointly condemned the brutal killing of a civilian by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – this time deploring ... More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news