The Coast Guard cutter Healy made a detour from its science mission in the Arctic last Saturday to rescue a sailboat trapped in ice near Barrow.
The Altan Girl is a 36-foot steel boat, trying to sail the Northwest Passage from Vancouver to eastern Canada.
The vessel is Turkish-Canadian, according to The Nome Nugget. The newspaper says the boat’s skipper, Erkan Gursoy, plans to sail across Canada all the way to Turkey.
But the boat got stuck in sea ice Saturday, 40 miles northeast of Barrow. Weather conditions meant search and rescue couldn’t fly in from the North Slope — so the Coast Guard diverted the Healy to help out.
The Healy towed the Altan Girl through 12 miles of Arctic ice before they reached open water. The cutter’s crew did a safety check. Then they sent the sailboat back to Barrow to resupply and wait for better conditions.
The Healy is now back on track with its Arctic research mission, funded by the National Science Foundation.
- The U.S. Northern Command and Coast Guard have launched a major field-training exercise off Alaska’s northwest coast. Arctic Chinook is intended to demonstrate how local, state and federal agencies would respond to a simulated cruise ship accident. Coincidentally, a big luxury cruise ship will sail through the area while the exercise is under way. And to further complicate things, bad weather has just set in.
- Tom Morphet, the owner, publisher, reporter, editor and designer for the Chilkat Valley News, was certified Monday to run for Haines Borough Assembly.
- Southcentral Alaska has seen an increase in wasp activity this year. Mild winters are good for overwintering queens, and more queens means more nests come springtime.
- A Canadian company conducting exploration for a potential mine about 35 miles north of Haines was recently granted permission to grow its project.