Nome fuel delivery complete, vessels prepare for departure

17th Coast Guard District NewsNOME, Alaska – Coast Guard, state, local, and industry personnel completed the safe delivery of an estimated one million gallons of diesel and 300,000 gallons of gasoline to the city of Nome Thursday at 5:30 a.m.

Two hoses were used to transfer the much needed fuel from the Russian-flagged tanker vessel Renda more than 500 yards across the Bering Sea ice to an on shore fuel tank storage facility. Fuel transfer operations began Monday and continued until all the fuel was safely delivered and the last hose was disconnected on Thursday.

“Throughout this mission our Coast Guard crews, partners, and industry personnel at sea and ashore have been dedicated to ensuring a safe transit for the Renda to Nome and completing a safe fuel delivery,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, Coast Guard District 17 commander. “I am extremely proud of the way our partners and the marine industry worked as a collaborative team along with the Coast Guard to get the needed fuel to the residents of Nome.”

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy will now focus at freeing the Renda from the ice, where it was purposely frozen during the fuel transfer, and will lead the Renda back across more than 360 miles of sea ice to the open water of the Bering Sea. The tentative departure date for Healy and Renda is schedule for Friday. The Healy is the Coast Guard’s only operational polar class ice breaker and was designed to break more than 4.5 feet of ice at three knots continuous and 8 feet of ice backing and ramming. Area residents are reminded that the 100 yard safety zone around the ships remains in effect until they depart.

The Healy and Renda crews departed Dutch Harbor Jan. 3 and arrived to the ice edge Jan. 6. Healy will now head back to her homeport in Seattle after completing an eight month extended deployment.

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