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Press Release | April 6, 2023

MEDIA ADVISORY: America’s only heavy icebreaker returns to Seattle

U.S. Coast Guard 13th District

Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star’s (WAGB 10) crew poses for a group photo in front of the cutter in Antarctica, Jan. 2, 2023. To support Operation Deep Freeze 2023 the Polar Star cuts a channel through the ice to allow the ice-strengthened resupply ships to reach McMurdo Station. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney)

Who: USCGC Polar Star (WAGB 10) and crew

What: Polar Star and crew are scheduled to return to Seattle, after completing the cutter’s 26th trip to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze

When: Saturday, April. 8, 2023 at 2 p.m.

Where: U.S. Coast Guard Base Seattle


SEATTLE — The United States' only heavy icebreaker, USCGC Polar Star, is scheduled to arrive to its Seattle homeport Saturday, April. 8, 2023.

Families will meet the ship as it returns Saturday afternoon.

Polar Star completed its 26th journey to Antarctica. This annual journey is conducted in support of Operation Deep Freeze, a joint military service mission to resupply the United States Antarctic stations of the National Science Foundation, the lead agency for the United States Antarctic Program.

The Polar Star crew conducts this essential mission to create a navigable path through ice as thick as 21-feet, to allow refuel and resupply ships to reach McMurdo Station, the largest Antarctic research station, and the logistics hub of the U.S. Antarctic Program.

The U.S. Coast Guard is recapitalizing its polar icebreaker fleet to ensure access to the Polar Regions, project U.S. sovereignty and to protect the country's economic, environmental, and national security interests.

Media is encouraged to contact Coast Guard 13th District Public Affairs at to arrange an escort at Base Seattle to attend the ship's arrival. The commanding officer of the Polar Star, Capt. Keith Ropella, may be available for an interview/public statement after the ship moors.