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Climb aboard America's biggest icebreaker

  • Author: Loren Holmes
  • Updated: August 16, 2016
  • Published August 12, 2016

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a 420-foot long icebreaker, stopped in Seward this week to swap out equipment and science teams. The ship made headlines last year when it became the first U.S. surface vessel to reach the North Pole unaccompanied.

Peter Worcester, a research oceanographer with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, came aboard the ship this week. He and his team plan on deploying a network of seven deep-water moorings in the Beaufort Sea in order to better understanding how sound travels in the Arctic Ocean. They will also be measuring ocean temperatures.

"This ship is really essential (to the science we are doing)," said Worcester. "We really can't deviate from the geometry that we've pre-determined. We have to be able to get to specific geographic locations, within a few kilometers."

The Healy will depart Seward next week, but before it does it will offer visitors a chance to tour the ship, on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tours are free, and children must be accompanied by adults.

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