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Iconic Icebreaker Makes Last Voyage — to Scrapyard

A reminder of U.S. vulnerability in the polar seas?

Craig Miller

The retired Coast Guard icebreaker Glacier prepares for its final voyage.

Glaciers are slipping away everywhere. It was tough to see this one go.

I’m talking about a ship, not an actual river of ice. This morning I watched the retired Coast Guard icebreaker Glacier cast off on what is likely to be its final voyage, from a Vallejo dry dock to a scrapyard in Brownsville, Texas. It seemed like a poignant moment, given the decline of the U.S. icebreaker fleet. Just as Arctic seas are opening up to unprecedented shipping activity, the Coast Guard is left with just one icebreaker in working order. Icebreakers are important research platforms and could play a vital role in responding to oil spills from offshore drilling in far northern waters. Continue reading