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Come tour the ice breaker Healy

Posted: September 3, 2014 - 12:00am

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a polar ice breaker, will be hosting free tours in Juneau from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.

Come and ask the crewmembers what it’s like to be aboard a 420-foot-long ice breaker, especially since they just completed 123 days of operations in the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and the Arctic Ocean.

During the past four months, Healy crewmembers conducted three primary missions to further scientific knowledge and understanding of the arctic. One mission studied under-ice blooms in the Chukchi ecosystem, another studied the Pacific Boundary Current and other oceanographic trends in the Arctic and the third examined the tools needed to respond to oil spills on ice at extreme northern latitudes.

The Healy is scheduled to arrive at the cruise ship terminal in Juneau on Thursday and will depart Sunday to return to its homeport of Seattle.

The cutter was delivered in 1999 and is the nation’s newest and largest U.S. high latitude ice breaker. Its primary mission is scientific support, but it also is capable of other operations, including search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection and enforcement of laws and treaties in the Polar Regions.

The Healy will be the second ice breaker to visit the capital city in recent years. The Polar Star stopped in Juneau last August on a return trek from the Arctic.

Friday’s tours will be family friendly. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed on board.

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