This incredible US Coast Guard ship can cut through 20-foot sheets of ice

The US Coast Guard operates one of themost powerfulnon-nuclear ships in the world. The Polar Star, along with her sister ship the Polar Sea, are true tanks of the ocean and plow some of the harshest seas in the world without difficulty.

Featuring 18,000 horsepower diesel engines and 75,000 horsepower through gas turbines, two inches of steel hull, and a unique design, the Polar Star can crush through the ice to make way for cargo ships or save vessels suck in the Antarctic ice. It also helps maintain access to US scientific bases in Antarctica.

On February 13, the 39-year-old Polar Star once more entered the spotlight after it rescued an Australian fishing vessel. According to The Navy Times, the fishing boat was locked in between 12 to 15-foot ice that had another two feet of snow on top of it.

Here’s a look at one of the most unique vessels in the US military.

The engines aboard the Polar Star, in conjunction with the ship’s curved bow, allow the vessel to break through ice of up to 21 feet in thickness. The ship can steam continuously through ice three feet thick without difficulty.

The Polar Star is able to cut paths through Antarctic waters that cargo ships can then follow.

On February 11, an Australian fishing boat became stuck in the Antarctic waters.

The Polar Star reached the stranded vessel by February 13, broke the ice around it, and set up tow lines between the ships

The Polar Star then towed the Australian vessel through its cleared wake and into open water.

Polar Star

Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener/US Coast Guard

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