Henry Larsen

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Henry Larsen was an explorer and officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Larsen was born in Norway, like his hero Roald Amundsen. He spent some years at sea, and became a skilled seaman, before emigrating to Canada. He joined the RCMP not long before the RCMP acquired the St. Roch, its first Arctic support vessel. He commanded the St. Roch for over a decade, including its first two traverses of the Northwest Passage.

The first traverse, under Larsen's command, followed Amundsen's route, but from West to East, taking 28 months. The second traverse took less than three months, and pioneered a route that could be traversed by vessels that were not of shallow draft.

Larsen was a Sergeant at the time of the traverses of the Northwest Passage. He was later promoted to command the RCMP's entire Arctic Division.

The Canadian Coast Guard named a large icebreaker after Henry Larsen. (The Larsen iceshelves on the coast of Antarctica are named after Carl Larsen, another polar explorer of Norwegian descent.)