Tag Archives: Icebreaker

AHTS Aiviq

Aiviq is an American icebreaking anchor handling tug supply vessel (AHTS) owned by Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). The $200 million vessel was built in 2012 by North American Shipbuilding in Larose, Louisiana and LaShip in Houma, Louisiana. She has been chartered by Royal Dutch Shell to support oil exploration and drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. The primary task of the vessel is towing and laying anchors for drilling rigs, but she is also equipped for oil spill response.
On 27 December 2012, while Aiviq was towing the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk off the coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska, the towing line between the icebreaker and the drilling rig parted due to a mechanical failure of the towing shackle. Shortly after the tow had been regained, the main engines of Aiviq failed and the vessel lost propulsion power in 20-foot (6 m) seas. In the following morning, power was successfully restored on one of the four main engines and the vessel was able to hold position in the heavy weather. United States Coast Guard cutter USCGC Alex Haley was dispatched to the scene to monitor the situation.
On 29 December, the Unified Command authorized the drilling rig to drop its anchor to slow its drift towards the coast and ordered the Coast Guard to evacuate the 18 crew members on Kulluk by helicopter as a precaution. Sikorsky HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters operated by the Coast Guard also delivered essential equipment parts to Aiviq and later power was restored on all four engines.

USA - AHTS Aiviq

USA – AHTS Aiviq


SV L’Astrolabe


The L’Astrolabe is the French 65 meter multi purpose supply vessel used to support the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. Her home port is Brest but shes’s normally based in Hobart (Tasmania) from where sails toward South from end October till March in order to transport materials and persons.

Built in Canada, launched in 1986 as “Fort Resolution” and later renamed “Austral Fish”  was a typical Supply vessel for offshore works. 

Canada - SV Fort Resolution

Canada - SV Austral Fish

in 1988 was acquired by the French company FISH and modified in order to become the support vessel for french operation in Antarctica: closed cargo area was added with the helideck on top as well  accomodations for 50 passengers. Actually is managed by P&O.

France - SV L'Astrolabe (FISH)

France - SV L'Astrolabe

SS Manhattan and the North-west passage

The icebreaking tanker S.S.Manhattan made an historic voyage to test the feasibility of using the Artic Northwest Passage as a year round trade route. Humble Oil & Refining Co., the sponsor of the project hoped to prove that the passage can be used by special ships to deliver Arctic oil to U.S. East Coast ports. The cost for this project reached $54-Million. Benefits of an open Polar sea route included increasing U.S. self-sufficiency in oil. The converted Manhattan was well equipped for the task. Even before the modifications, the Manhattan was stronger and more powerful than any ship of its type in the world. Built in 1962 in Bethlehem Steels’ shipyard in Quincy, Mass, the Manhattan is the largest merchant ship ever to fly the American flag and the largest commercial ship ever constructed in the U.S. It’s 43,000 shaft horsepower powerplant is nearly 1-1/2 times more powerful than those on ships twice her size. In addition to size, the Manhattan was highly maneuverable, due to twin five-bladed propellers and twin rudders.

In short, the Manhattan is a one-vessel breed of supertanker, more powerful, and more maneuverable than any similar ship on the seas.

To speed the conversion to a icebreaking tanker, the ship was drydocked at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company and cut into four pieces.

The 65-foot forward bow was stored at Sun, to be replaced by a new 125-foot icebreaking bow which was built in two sections. The forward piece was built by Bath Iron Works and the after piece was built by Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. The forward section, including the No.1 cargo tank, was towed to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company where it was fitted with a heavy 1-1/2″ thick ice belt to protect the sides of the ship from large floes of ice. The midship section, which included the bridge, was towed to Alabma Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company where an ice belt, of steel was also fitted. The stern section remained at Sun to be strengthened internally. While the hull work was being carried on, Sun Ship workers were installing additional quaraters, laboratories and electronic gear.

When the hull sections were returned, Sun rejoined them, sealed off most of the cargo tanks (which were used for ballast) and then put the ship through river trials. As completed, the Manhattan has been lengthened from 940 feet to 1,005 feet, widened by 16 feet to 148 feet, and it weight increased by 9,000 tons.

Accompanying the Manhattan, the first commercial vessel to transit the “Top of the World” route, was the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Westwind and the Canadian icebreaker John A. McDonald.

IBRV Araon

The RV Araon is a 6,950-ton icebreaker operated by the Government of South Korea, designed for operation in one-meter-thick-multiple-year ice condition (KR PL-10) with 3 knot speed per hour and will be equipped with twin Azimuth propulsion units driven by diesel-electric propulsion plant. She will accommodate up to 85 persons, including 25 crew members. The name is derived from Korean words “Ara” for Sea and “On” for All and represents a project to cruise around the world. She supplies the King Sejong Station  and will supply a South Korea’s second planned antartcic research station. She underwent her  sea trials in January 2010, in the Ross Sea.  Her first foreign port of call was Lyttelton, New Zealand, as shown in the picture (courtesy of Wayne A’Court – NZ)

South Korea - IBRV Araon

UT 758 Ice – Pacific Endeavour, Pacific Endurance & Pacific Enterprise –

SCF Swire Offshore is a joint venture between Swire Pacific Offshore and Sovcomflot (SCF), established for the provision of offshore support services to the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (SEIC) in relation to the Sakhalin 2 project. The joint venture, set up in 2002, operates three ice-breaking supply vessels Pacific Endeavour, Pacific Endurance and Pacific Enterprise off Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East.

Russia - Pacific Endeavour - UT 758 ICE

Between icebergs

A new picture from Ice…

I was on the roof of the main deck of the French Icebreaker L’Astrolabe routing South to Dumond D’Urville base.

I was about 10-12 meter above the sea level and icebergs (the emerging part) were much more higher than 30-50 meters!