Kito hoists on retired Antarctic observation vessel
Following the successful careers of the Soya and Fuji, Shirase (AGB-5002) was the third-generation Japanese Antarctic observation vessel. During its service, the ship made 25 round trips between Japan and the Antarctic continent, docking at the Showa base a record 24 times. Decommissioned in July 2008, since May 2010 the ship has been permanently docked at the Port of Funabashi, its name now painted in Roman characters on the hull in addition to the original Japanese hiragana.
The Shirase , it is a huge icebreaker – 134m long and 28m wide. Kito’s ER2 electric chain hoist is currently used to raise and lower the gangway and, up on deck, another ER2 is used for transferring cargo to the ship.
These particular ER2s were installed after the ship’s retirement, so never saw duty in Antarctica.