February 16, 1979 In the Great Lakes region, a lake freighter (also known as a laker) made her first voyage. This was the first voyage of that type of vessel in mid-winter, and it took place on the mostly ice-covered waters of both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. This lake freighter was constructed by Bay... Continue Reading →

April 4, 1985 A vessel named Samuel Risley was officially commissioned as a Canadian Coast Guard ship (CCGS). This vessel, measuring 229.8 feet (69.7 meters) in length, had been built by Vito Steel Boat & Barge Limited and was launched in 1984 at that company’s shipyard in the British Columbia city of Delta. CCGS Samuel... Continue Reading →

January 17, 1947 The U.S. Navy ship USS Burton Island, which was named after an island off the coast of Delaware, began her maiden voyage from San Diego to the Antarctic region’s Ross Sea. Navy Commander Gerald L. Ketchum was in command of the ship. The 269-foot (82-meter)-long icebreaker was designed by the naval architectural... Continue Reading →

December 28, 1942 The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Northwind, which would have an eventful career under various names and in the service of different nations as well as military branches, was launched just after noontime at Western Pipe & Steel Corporation’s shipyard in the Los Angeles community of San Pedro. Mrs. R.B. Lank, the... Continue Reading →

Sampo, a pioneering icebreaker that the British manufacturer Armstrong-Whitworth (AW) had just built for the Finnish government, left the AW shipyard in northeastern England for her second sea trial. The first sea trial for Sampo took place about a month earlier and quickly ended in failure when the new vessel’s bow propeller shaft malfunctioned. Sampo’s... Continue Reading →

The Argentine Navy icebreaker ARA Almirante Irízar, which was built and launched in Finland, first arrived in Argentina. The vessel was named in honor of Admiral Julián Irízar, who played an important role in modernizing the Argentine Navy’s fleet. He also commanded the ARA Uruguay when the gunboat rescued members of the 1903 Swedish Antarctic... Continue Reading →

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