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'Happy tears': Families welcome Polar Star crew home to Seattle

The Polar Star departed Seattle in November, heading north for a mission in Antarctica. It made its return on Monday.

More than 100 crew members aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star returned home Monday morning. 

The Seattle-based heavy icebreaker completed a nearly 4-month mission in Antarctica assisting "Operation Deep Freeze." The Polar Star was tasked with breaking up thick ice chunks so other research supply vessels could reach McMurdo Station in Antarctica. 

The cutter's crew experienced flooding, an electrical outage, and an incinerator fire, according to a spokesperson for the Coast Guard. 

Polar Star is 399-feet long, 13,500 tons, 84-feet wide.

The 43-year-old ship is able to break continuously through six feet of ice and up to 21 feet of ice.

RELATED: Seattle-based Polar Star rescues 26 trapped in Antarctic Ice