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Icebreaker Southwind Returns from Artic (Baltimore Sun, 22 November 1970, Jon Franklin) - After smashing her way farther north into the Arctic ice pack than any other icebreaker, USCGC Southwind came home to Baltimore yesterday.

The ship moored at the Coast Guard Yard‘s pier one, her ice-crushing bow scraped clean of paint near the water line and showing a fine sheen of rust. During her five-month mission, Southwind penetrated the northern ice to within 419 miles of the pole. She also paid a port call to Murmansk, the first United States Naval vessel to enter that northern Russian city since it was the terminus of the dangerous Murmansk run in the early part of World War II.

Closet to Pole - Captain Edward D. Cassidy, Southwind’s skipper, said that on August 15 the ship penetrated the Arctic ice pack to a latitude of 83 degrees, 1 minute north, the closest any surface vessel under power has approached the pole. He said exploration surface vessels approached much closer to the pole, but not under power. Unable to penetrate the thick ice, those ships were deliberately jammed in the ice and allowed to drift with the pack. Once trapped by the ice, they had to remain until freed by natural forces - one ship was trapped for three years.

North of Siberia - Captain Cassidy said Southwind’s northernmost penetration occurred at a point, north of Siberia and to the east of the barren Franz-Joseph Islands. ―We could have gone farther,‖ he said, but added that a deeper penetration would not have added anything to the ship‘s scientific assignment. At the time the ship was carrying a team of scientists from the University of Alaska. The researchers were taking water samples at various depths in an investigation of the mixing of cold Arctic Basin water with the comparatively warmer water of the North Atlantic. That intermixture is suspected of playing a part in meteorological process.


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