18 June 2012

Polar Sea scrapping put on hold:

A last minute reprieve will prevent, for now, a disabled Coast Guard heavy icebreaker from being cut up for parts and scrapped for metal, announced Sen. Maria Cantwell's office in a June 15 statement.

The Polar Sea, one of the Coast Guard's two heavy icebreakers, suffered massive engine failure in 2010 and has been set for decommissioning since February 2011. The 399-foot ship was set to be dry-docked June 18 to have major portions of its interior sealed off and have its propellers removed, Cantwell said. The Coast Guard's other heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star, is undergoing a $57 million refurbishment by Vigor Shipyards in Seattle with a planned return to service in 2013.

According to Cantwell's announcement, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp agreed during a June 14 meeting with her and Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to postpone the ship's scrapping through the end of 2012.

Source: By David Perera. 17 June 2012.

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