Alaska lawmaker touts Aiviq to fill 'icebreaker gap'


(WASHINGTON) — Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, pressed the Coast Guard at a House hearing Wednesday about the possibility of leasing a vessel from the private sector to fill the nation's "icebreaker gap," Alaska Public Media reported. In a reference that a Young aide later confirmed was about the Chouest-owned Aiviq, Young told Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Michel that during Shell's drilling activity in the region, "there were anchor-layer, ice-capable ships” that might now be available for Coast Guard duty. Michel said that the ship "was not suitable for military service without substantial refit." Young replied, "Military service. I’m talking about moving ice.” Canada's Davie Shipyard and Federal Fleet Services have been working to acquire the vessel for conversion to a polar icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard.

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By Professional Mariner Staff