|USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) is a research icebreaker put into commission in 1999 by the United States Coast Guard. She was constructed by Avondale Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana and named in honor of Captain "Hell Roaring" Michael A. Healy U.S.R.C.S. Her keel was laid on September 16, 1996. A spectacular launch followed on November 15, 1997. Delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard and placed "In Commission, Special" on November 10, 1999, Healy joined the icebreakers Polar Star (WAGB-10) and Polar Sea (WAGB-11) in their homeport of Seattle, Washington. The ship departed New Orleans on January 26, 2000, performing sea trials off of San Juan, Puerto Rico and in the Baffin Sea between Canada and Greenland. It arrived in Seattle on August 9, 2000 after transiting the famed Northwest Passage and was placed "In Commission, Active" on August 21, 2000. |
Designed to conduct a wide range of research activities, Healy provides more than 4,200 square feet (390 m2) of scientific laboratory space, numerous electronic sensor systems, oceanographic winches, and accommodations for up to 50 scientists. Healy is also designed to break 4.5 feet of ice continuously at three knots and can operate in temperatures as low as −50 °F (−45 °C). The science community provided invaluable input on lab lay-outs and science capabilities during design and construction of the ship.
As a Coast Guard cutter, Healy is also a capable platform for supporting other potential missions in the polar regions, including logistics, search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, and enforcement of laws and treaties.