The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
The Healy is the United States’ largest and most technologically advanced icebreaker as well as the Coast Guard’s largest vessel.  She is classified as a medium icebreaker and serves on missions including search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, enforcement of law and treaties, and scientific expeditions.

Builder: Avondale Shipyard
Commissioned: November 10, 1999
Length: 420 feet
Beam: 82 feet
Displacement: 16,000 tons
Speed: 17 knots (20mph), 3 knots (3.5mph) in 4.5-foot ice
Ice Capacity: 4.5 feet (continuous), 10 feet (ramming)

Other Characteristics: Healy is an optimally manned vessel – she has the minimum number of personnel staffed in order to safely navigate.  The ship provides more than 4,200 square feet of scientific laboratory space, numerous electronic sensor systems, oceanographic winches, and accommodations for up to 50 scientists.  Healy can operate in temperatures as low as -50°F.  

History:  From June through December 2001, Healy mapped 1,100 miles of the Gakkel Ridge, previous the only unmapped undersea ridge in the world.  Twelve previously unknow volcanoes and numerous hydrothermal vents were discovered.  From April 2007 to July 2008, Healy conducted a project to evaluate the entire ecosystem of the Bering Sea.  Data collected during these missions helped improve the understanding of food webs and biological communities in the Arctic.  In August and September 2009, Healy pushed 150 miles further north than planned and acquired over 1,000 pounds of geological samples.  On September 5, 2015, Healy became the first unaccompanied U.S. surface vessel to reach the North Pole.  During that mission, she traveled over 16,000 miles and took over 25,000 water and ice samples from 72 science stations. 

Photograph: The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy and the Geotraces science team had their portrait taken at the North Pole on September 7, 2015.  Healy reached the pole on September 5, becoming the first U.S. surface vessel to do so unaccompanied.  (Source: PO2 Cory Mendenhall, United States Coast Guard)