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Coast Guard and City of Nome urge caution as icebreaker and tanker near shore

NOME, Alaska — The Coast Guard and the City of Nome strongly encourage the residents of Nome to avoid traveling on the ice as the Coast Guard Cutter Healy and tanker Renda begin transiting shore fast ice surrounding the city.

The Healy and the Russian tanker Renda are now approximately 27 nautical miles away from the city.

“Because of the Healy and Renda’s proximity to the city we want to strongly encourage residents of Nome to avoid going out onto the ice to view the vessels. The behavior of the ice as the vessels transit closer to the city is extremely unpredictable and ice conditions could change rapidly,” said Coast Guard Lt. Nicole Auth, Coast Guard safety zone coordinator in Nome.

“We strongly encourage residents to remain on shore and avoid transiting on the ice as the ships transit in and out of the shore fast ice until the ice has time to re-freeze,” said Auth.

Throughout the duration of the transfer operations, persons and vehicles will be restricted from areas 50 yards around fuel delivery hoses and 100 yards from the tanker Renda per an established Coast Guard safety zone. These areas will be marked with wooden survey stakes. In addition, the fuel transfer hose will be lit during hours of darkness.

The best place to view the operations will be from the uplands near Middle Beach along the south side of the Small Boat Harbor. Coast Guard personnel monitoring the safety zone will be available in a vehicle at that location to answer any questions beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday.

It is encouraged for residents to monitor Nome radio stations and television stations for the latest information.

Persons with questions concerning the safety zone should contact Lt. Nicole Auth at 907-321-2921.

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