Yacht Yards, with marine facilities in Connecticut, New York,
Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine, has made a $35,000 contribution
toward the Stratford-based non-profit Glacier Society’s restoration
of the Icebucket, a 45-foot, post-World War II Arctic survey
boat, Society chairman Bernard Koether II of Westport announced
completion of repairs and renovations, the Icebucket will
be used to educate youth ages 12 through 18 in boat handling and
navigational skills. The long-term leadership program, in conjunction
with area Boy Scout and Sea Scout units, will qualify participants
for boat operator’s licenses, enabling them to command small
and larger boats ranging from 45 to 60 feet in length.
Koether expressed appreciation for the Brewer support saying,
“Brewer Pilots Point Marina in Westbrook, CT has shown with
this donation to the Glacier Society that they really care about
educating today’s youth in one the greatest of all classrooms…the
sea. And we thank them for it.”
A secondary mission of the program, Koether said, will be to educate
students in marine sciences and leadership skills. Those with outstanding
seamanship and leadership skills who present exemplary models of
good character will be selected to serve and sail onboard the MV
Glacier GB4 – formerly the historic icebreaker USS/USCGC
Glacier – when she deploys for her humanitarian mission
as a health care delivery vehicle serving the indigenous peoples
in the Arctic Basin.
According to Koether, plans call for the Icebucket to
be home-ported in Bridgeport during the summer months, conducting
school-of-the-ship learning experiences within Long Island Sound
and surrounding waters.
During the winter months, the vessel will travel the Inter Coastal
Waterway from Bridgeport to Fort Lauderdale, FL. Along the way,
she will engage the services of various educators, scientists and
Navy and Coast Guard personnel to fulfill her educational mission.
The Glacier was launched in 1954 and commissioned a year
later. She conducted 39 Antarctic missions with the Navy and the
Coast Guard until 1966, served as flagship for Arctic explorer Admiral
Richard E. Byrd, and now is the property of the Glacier Society.
Considered a prototype in icebreaker construction, she was the free
world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker, capable of breaking
ice up to 20 feet thick.
After being mothballed to the Maritime Administration’s
reserve fleet in Susian Bay, CA for nearly two decades, the ship
soon will be moved to a pier in San Francisco Bay for intense re-fitting
in preparation for her upcoming humanitarian mission.
While in service with the Glacier, the Arctic survey
boat was used to conduct cold climate surveys, take depth soundings,
assist in rescue operations, ferry personnel from ship to shore
and serve as a lifeboat. Constructed of a single skin glass-reinforced
hull, the ship has a reinforced bow for minor icebreaking and a
reinforced belt around the waterline for protection against ice
fields. Diesel-powered, the boat has a maximum speed of 10 knots
and a range of 320 miles, with a normal crew of six people.
To learn more about the MV Glacier GB4 and the Icebucket
leadership program, call 203-375-6638 or visit www.glaciersociety.org.
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