A US Coast Guard icebreaker has carved its way to the North Pole, becoming the first American surface ship to get to the top of the world by itself, officials said.
The 420 ft, 16,000 ton Healy is one of only two active US icebreakers; the other is the smaller but stronger Polar Star, measuring 399 feet long and 11,000 tons. That compares with 40 icebreakers for Russia, with 11 more on the way. The ship’s crew and passengers comprised 145 people including scientists who are studying the geochemistry of the world’s oceans. The president’s proposal speeds up the acquisition of a new heavy-duty Arctic ice breaker by two years, to 2020, and calls on Congress to fund the construction of additional vessels.
Source: news.discovery.com, yahoo.com, csmonitor.com