US Coast Guard cutter rescues trapped sailboat from Arctic sea ice, tows vessel to open water


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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard has freed a Canadian sailboat that became trapped in Arctic ice off the north coast of Alaska.

KTUU-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1nyaGCF) the 36-foot Altan Girl out of Vancouver was attempting to sail to eastern Canada through the Northwest Passage.

It became trapped in ice 40 miles northeast of Barrow, the northernmost city in the United States.

The Coast Guard cutter Healy reached the sailboat, and with the Altan Girl in tow, on Saturday cut a 12-mile path through ice to open water.

The sailboat's owner says he intends to wait in Barrow for better weather and to restock supplies.

The Healy is on a National Science Foundation-funded research mission in the Arctic. The Coast Guard says the cutter is continuing with its research.

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