Tanker again making progress toward Nome

The 420-foot Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice in the Bering Sea to assist the tanker Renda make way toward approximately 165 miles from Nome, Alaska, Sunday Jan. 8, 2012. The Coast Guard icebreaker is cutting a path through icy seas for a Russian tanker carrying much-needed fuel for the iced-in Alaska city of Nome. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally)

A Russian tanker and a Coast Guard icebreaker are again making progress in the ice-choked and frozen waters of the Bering Sea.

Coast Guard spokesman David Mosley says the tanker and the icebreaker are 78 miles from Nome. Mosley says conditions in the Bering Sea continue to be challenging, but the tanker and the icebreaker are again making headway.

Thick ice, wind and unfavorable ocean currents had the vessels making little progress Tuesday, but conditions improved Wednesday.

The tanker is loaded with 1.3 million gallons of fuel for Nome. The city missed its final pre-winter delivery of fuel by barge when a big storm swept the region last fall. Without the delivery, Nome could run short of fuel before a barge delivery becomes possible in late spring.

01/12/2012 - 8:28am