The Russian tanker Renda has received approval for its spill prevention plan during a winter fuel delivery to Nome from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, according to the company that chartered it.Officials with Vitus Marine LLC say the Renda has crossed the stormy, wind-tossed waters of the Aleutians and is beginning to follow the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy through more than 300 miles of sea ice on its historic voyage to Nome.
According to Vitus Marine, the Renda was 25 nautical miles southwest of Nunivak Island at about 9:30 a.m. Friday, and is making way through the southernmost ice at 8 knots.
The Renda was hired to deliver more than a million gallons of fuel to Nome after huge storms in the Bering Sea kept a barge company from delivering the city’s winter supply of fuel.
From dealing with several foreign governments and a number of regulatory hurdles, the Renda’s journey hasn’t been an easy one.
The Sitnasuak Native Corporation says the ship is expected to arrive in Nome on Monday.
SNC owns Bonanza Fuel, the main fuel distribution company in Nome, and has hired Vitus Marine to coordinate the Renda’s fuel delivery.
Email Rhonda McBride