Heading south for the winter: Engineers keep a venerable cutter underway

From the ship’s bow to the stern light, and from high in the aloft conning tower to the lowest bilge, every space in Polar Star holds equipment and machinery that the ship’s engineers have to maintain in order to keep the screws turning and the lights burning. Read on to learn more about how they keep the Polar Star running.

Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, a 399-foot polar class icebreaker, gets underway from its homeport of Coast Guard Base Seattle for deployment to Antarctica, Nov. 30, 2014. The crew of Polar Star will be supporting the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation during their four-month mission. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer)

Headed south for the winter: Coast Guard Cutter begins journey to Antarctica

Over the next several weeks ride along with the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star through regular installments on our blog as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime breaking ice in Antarctica!

Lt. Sarah Rodino (left), a marine inspector assigned to Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle, observes ordinary seamen James Lesh (middle) and Brian Jonsson (right), operate a fire hose aboard Washington State Ferry Puyallup during the ferry's annual certificate of inspection at the Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility in Bainbridge Island, Wash., Dec. 15, 2014. WSF personnel tested each of the dozens of fire hoses aboard the ferry during the inspection to ensure all nozzles and hoses were in good condition and functioned properly. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer)

WSF Puyallup completes annual Coast Guard certificate of inspection

All 23 Washington State Ferry vessels must pass a certificate of inspection and four unannounced quarterly inspections each year. Go along as a team from Sector Puget Sound conducts an inspection on Pullayup.

Law enforcement officers assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Port Angeles, Wash., conduct a safety boarding, during Operation North Falcon II, aboard the commercial fishing vessel Wanda Lee in Hood Canal, Wash., Oct. 30, 2014. Cutter Wahoo’s crew conducted educational outreach and safety boardings in Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Area 12, which encompasses the waters of Hood Canal; south of the Hood Canal Bridge. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener)

Coast Guard enforces fishery regulations on Washington’s Hood Canal

Dubbed Operation North Falcon II, Coast Guard crews were active in Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife marine areas 7, 10 and 12, historically the most active areas for gill net and purse seine fishermen in October 2014. Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo’s crew spent three days conducting educational outreach and safety boardings aboard commercial fishing vessels in Hood Canal, Wash.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Whitehead, a boatswains mate and the operations petty officer at Aids to Navigation Team Kennewick, navigates the unit’s 26-foot Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat up the Snake River Sept. 23, 2014.

Keeping mariners safe on the Northwest’s high desert

Aids to Navigation Team Kennewick is responsible for maintaining ATON along the Snake River from Kennewick, Wash., to Lewiston, Idaho. Ride along as they make a run down the Snake River September 2014.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Olson, a maritime enforcement specialist assigned to Coast Guard Port Security Unit 313 and volunteer firefighter in Oso, Wash., surveys the damage area after the deadly Oso mudslide, April 2, 2014. Olson spent more than 260 hours over 24 days assisting with recovery operations after the Oso, Wash., mudslide, the deadliest in the nation's history. (Photo courtesy of Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Olson)

Freedom fighter, firefighter, friend: An Oso resident’s call to serve

The town of Oso was thrust into the national spotlight when the deadliest landslide event in U.S. history changed the town’s landscape forever. Ryan Olson is one example of the resilience of Oso residents. Read about his service during this tragedy and how his Coast Guard prepared him.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., makes an approach toward Canadian Coast Guard Ship Cape Naden, a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Sidney, British Columbia, during a training exercise in Moresby Passage, Aug. 7, 2014. The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard crews organized the training event to practice skills necessary for safely completing a joint rescue along the international maritime border. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer)

Anchors, seas and maple leaves: U.S., Canadian coast guard conduct joint training

American and Canadian mariners alike can boat confidently with the knowledge that two coast guards are standing the watch. Ride along as Air Station Port Angeles works with the Canadian coast guard and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue.

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