Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Harris, a member of a joint Coast Guard-Navy dive team deployed aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy, holds a Coast Guard ensign during a cold water ice dive off a Healy small boat in the Arctic, July 29, 2017. The joint dive team successfully completed the first shipboard Coast Guard dive operations in the Arctic in 11 years. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Bradbury.

Diving in: A new chapter at the top of the world

For the first time in 11 years, after the tragic deaths of Lt. Jessica Hill and Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Duque, divers returned to the icy Arctic waters in support of the 2017 Coast Guard Research and Development Center Arctic patrol of Coast Guard Cutter Healy.

During the patrol, the team conducted cold water ice dive operations from both the small boat and a dive platform that was lowered from the Healy. A total of 18 dives were performed with a maximum depth of 38 feet and subsurface time of 18 minutes.


An optical phenomenon known as a sun dog or halo, which is produced by light interacting with suspended ice crystals in the atmosphere, appears off Coast Guard Cutter Healy’s port bow at the North Pole Sept. 5, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

At True North’s End

As Healy’s crew and science party now turn their gaze southward, they can sail proudly knowing each did their part to successfully push their cutter to the furthest regions of the Arctic. While much science remains to be conducted on the return route to Dutch Harbor, an historic milestone was reached by these 145 souls, and the memory of a formidable goal achieved will be carried with them for all time, wherever they may go.


Flying into the future

It’s pivotal that a rescue crew, whether on the water or in the sky, has the full use of their wits and physical power when it matters most. Utilizing an unmanned system that could potentially spot survivors or wreckage from high in the sky could reduce the time rescue crews spend searching, and ultimately reduce the time that victims spend at the mercy of the elements.


A Coast Guard Cutter Healy tie-down team moves in to secure an Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, MH-60 Jayhawk to the flight deck southwest of Kodiak Island, July 3, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker.

From air to sea

Forty-one by 40-feet is the size of the flight deck of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a 420-foot polar icebreaker currently deployed to the Arctic. To land a on the cutter, aircrews and deck crews not only have to manage with a ship that moves forward in the water, but also one that moves with the seas.


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