POLAR SEA and her sister ship, POLAR STAR, are the world's most powerful non-nuclear icebreakers. Built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company of Seattle, Washington, the two powerful icebreakers are based at the Seattle Coast Guard Support Center at Pier 36.
The Polar Class icebreakers are two of the largest cutters operated by the Coast Guard. These cutters, specifically designed for open-water icebreaking have reinforced hulls, special icebreaking bows, and a system that allows rapid shifting of ballast to increase the effectiveness of their icebreaking. The Polar Sea and Polar Star were built in the 1970s. They serve in Arctic/Antarctic serving science and research as well as providing supplies to remote stations. Both Polar Class icebreakers are under the control of Pacific Area, Ice Operations Section.