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Engine Problems

July 7, 2010
Not my car, the Coast Guard’s Polar Sea. Its sister ship, the Polar Star, is undergoing renovations and not expected to be ready for several more years. The Polar Sea was the only remaining, active ice breaker left. Both ships hail from the 1970s so excessive wear in the cylinder assemblies doesn’t seem too surprising, although it was just retrofitted in 2008 so certainly this hurts.
The Coast Guard’s two icebreakers are essential for a number of functions that should appeal to almost anyone; arctic sovereignty, rescues of trading vessels, clearing trade routes for all your righties, and “changing ice structure” research (*cough* global warming), oil spill recovery, as well as ecosystem research and biological studies. With a replacement cost estimated at something like $925 million I’m sure it will be a tough pill for a largely anti-deficit (in words at least) congress. Senator Murkowski, R-Alaska, has supposedly introduced legislation to build two new icebreakers along with additional funding for mapping and navigation improvements in the arctic. Let’s hope she gets the support she needs to pass this, because America needs some modern and capable icebreakers for arctic patrol.
In order to convince you I’ve included some pictures, some patriotic and some of adorable fluffy animals.
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