The Russian tanker and their U.S. Coast Guard escort finally reached Nome, Alaska on Friday with the emergency fuel supplies. It took them ten days to make it there through seas that were ice choked. This was the first mid-winter marine delivery every made and the Russian tanker got an exception from the U.S. maritime law last month to make the journey.
The Russian tanker, Renda, has stopped at the edge of the ice, eight miles out from the city of Nome. On Saturday morning they will begin to offload the fuel, which they figure will take approximately two days. They want to make sure it is done safely so they do not cause any environmental problems or injuries. Because of the harbor’s shadow depth, the tanker will stay at least a half mile from the shore and deliver the fuel by hose.
During their trip through the Bering Sea, the Coast Guard escort, which is a icebreaking ship, had to cut through ice as thick as twenty-four inches, causing all concerned doubts if it could be done. If they had not been able to do it, they would have had to rely on the expensive emergency delivery by air.