Similar to the other types of water transportation such as passenger ships, tankers, cruise ships, container vessels, etc., “icebreakers” are as well undeniably helpful and valuable. Because of icebreaker ships, immobilized ships due to ice can conveniently and safely get through the rough water covered with ice. In such strenuous ice conditions, icebreaker ships are capable to tow or pull along even the weakest vessels or ships.
In addition to this type of ship’s icebreaking nature or attribute, some ice-breaking vessels are taken advantaged to aid scientific research. Particularly, this operation happens in the Arctic and Antartic regions. Furthermore, in some parts of the world, these ice-breaking transports are in-demand for supplying equipment and other cargo to the drilling areas.
CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent
The CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is a heavy arctic icebreaker of the Canadian Coast Guard. This icebreaker was put in motion in 1966 and was commissioned in 1969. She was known to be one of the world’s largest icebreakers for having a 119.8-meter length or 393.04 feet. Starting service since 1969, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is still actively operating today.
Currently, she regulates summer navigations to Canada’s polar region (Arctic). For the most part, she is supporting the yearly Arctic sealift to different seaside communities and carrying out multi-disciplinary scientific explorations. The CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent occasionally has operations in the St. Lawrence Gulf during the months of winter. She helps vessels to transit in Montreal, Quebec, usually serving this task during heavy ice years.
Which means a pole star, the RV Polarstern is also recognized as one of the largest ice-breaking ships in the world. It is a research icebreaker vessel of a German research center, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. She was officially operating since 1982 and still in service currently. Like the other well-known research icebreakers, Polarstern is used specifically in Antartica and Arctic regions.
Having a length of 386 feet makes it, of course, an unquestionably larger icebreaker than the rest. She is a double-hulled ice-breaking vessel. It can accommodate over 100 persons aboard but only having forty-four crews working. In the future, particularly in 2020, a plan was stated to replace RV Polastern by Polastern II.
50 Let Pobedy
The name 50 Let Pobedy has an interpretation of 50 Years of Victory or Fiftieth Anniversary of Victory. Such invokes to the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic War. The 50 Let Pobedy is a Russian Arktika class, which indicates being a nuclear-powered ice-breaking ship. A Russian Federation owned icebreaker, the 50 Let Pobedy is a much more powerful icebreaker than the rest which is diesel-powered.
No wonder 50 Let Pobedy is one of the world’s largest icebreakers, it is for having a 524 feet length and is regulating 189 crew members. She was built in 1989. However, she was abandoned in 1990’s due to the insufficiency of funds. Fortunately, the construction continues in the year 2003 and had her official operation in 2007. Being nuclear-powered, 50 Let Pobedy is capable of breaking up to 5 meters thickness of ice.
Similar to 50 Let Pobedy, the NS Yamal is also a nuclear-powered icebreaker ship. Thus, it is a Russain Arktika-class too. She is regulated by FSUE Atomflot – a company in Russia that generates the world’s only nuclear-powered ice-breaking fleets. Yamal had her construction in the year 1986 and was launched officially in the year 1992. With intensified strength, Yamal is established with double hulls. Her being a 486 feet long makes her one of the largest icebreakers in the world. In fact, Yamal has a crew of hundred and eighty-nine.
Primarily, NS Yamal is constructed to function as maintaining the shipping lanes open, transiting passengers during Arctic explorations. It had her excursion in July 1994 in the North Pole with the US National Science Foundation to honor the official first journey. It has been playing a significant duty during the generation of annual travel explorations in the North Pole. In fact, Yamal is one of the few icebreakers that can only get through the area, administering the tourists safely.
KV Svalbard (W303)
Not just an icebreaker ship, the KV Svalbard is also an offshore patrol vessel. Such is regulated by the Norwegian Coast Guard. As a matter of fact, KV Svalbard happens to be the first ship of the Norwegian coast guard having an ice-breaking capability. Based at Sortland, she is conducting a maritime patrol, as well, search and rescue operations.
At the same time, KV Svalbard administer support in the research activities done in the Arctic Ocean. It is considered one of the biggest ice-breaking vessels in the world for having a 6,375t displacement.