A Coast Guard cutter is preparing for the departure of a Russian fuel tanker from an iced-in Alaska town.
Coast Guard spokesman David Mosley said Friday that the Healy has started breaking ice to free itself and then will create a pathway for the fuel tanker to leave Nome.
The icebreaker plans to lead the fuel tanker back through hundreds of miles of sea ice and to open ocean, where the tanker will head for Russia. The Healy then will head for its homeport in Seattle after a brief stop in Dutch Harbor.
The icebreaker helped get the tanker to Nome, where it delivered an estimated 1.3 million gallons of fuel needed by the city until a barge delivery can be made in late spring.