Brewer Yacht Yards aids Glacier Society project

Glacier Society Press Release
November 4, 2004

 

Brewer 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 today.

IcebucketUpon 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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