Westwind Damaged in Antarctica Mishap
On 1 Jan 84 the CGC Westwind suffered major hull damage while she was conducting icebreaking operations in the Weddell Sea, just off the Larsen Ice Shelf on the Antarctica Peninsula.
A 180' gash was ripped in the side of the vessel when the ice shifted, pushing her up against a 100' ice cliff. Several deckplates were buckled and frames were bent. Final Results: 180' of bent, broken frames and 130' of daylight along the port side. Also, in addition to having a gash in one side half it's length, the Westwind also sustained rudder damage and some damage to one of it's propeller blades. After two hours the cutter was able to maneuver away from the ice shelf. Luckily there were no injuries.
All engineering systems were intact and were operating normally. The Westwind then slowly made it's way to King George Island where they waited for two C-130's to arrive from the Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss. with 36 tons of repair parts for temperary repairs. After repairing the ship, the cutter finally made it's long journey home, arriving in Mobile, AL. on 25 Feb 84. But many will never know the true cost to the men, their families and the ship.
Posted by Brian Denmark
Nov 05 2000 07:37:26:000PM