US Coast Guard Cutter Reaches North Pole

The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the Geotraces science team have their portrait taken at the North Pole Sept. 7, 2015. Healy reached the pole on Sept. 5. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall)
The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the Geotraces science team have their portrait taken at the North Pole Sept. 7, 2015. Healy reached the pole on Sept. 5. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall)

SEATTLE — U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, based in Seattle, has arrived in the North Pole -- becoming the first U.S. surface ship to make the trip unaccompanied.

Healy's crew and science party left Dutch Harbor, Alaska on August 9th and arrived at the North Pole on Saturday.

According to a Coast Guard press release, Healy is the country's newest high-latitude vessel. It's a 420-foot, 16,000-ton, 30,000-horsepower icebreaker. It's capable of breaking more than 10 feet of ice.

In addition to performing the Coast Guard's mission of law enforcement and search and rescue, Healy is a research platform. It has laboratory spaces, oceanographic deck winches and berthing for 50 scientists.

The trip was funded by the National Science Foundation. Healy's Geotraces mission is an international effort to study the world's oceans.

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