August 14, 2001


Provided by: US Coast Guard Pacific Area
Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek

Earlier this summer the U.S. Coast Guard's newest icebreaker, the USCGC HEALY, set sail from Seattle on its maiden scientific voyage to study one of the world's slowest growing oceanic ridges, with an eye to understanding how the Earth's crust forms. The 420 foot 16,000 ton HEALY is designed to conduct a wide range of research activities, providing more than 4,200 square feet of scientific laboratory space, numerous electronic sensor systems, oceanographic winches, and accommodations for up to 50 scientists. HEALY is designed to break 4 1/2 feet of ice continuously at three knots with 30,000 diesel/electric HP and can operate in temperatures as low as -50 degrees F. HEALY will carry out the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge Expedition (AMORE) from late July until early October sailing with the German research vessel Polarstern to sample and study the Gakkel Ridge, a little-known geologic feature in the Arctic Ocean.

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