BERING SEA-The Russian oil tanker, "Renda," hit a glitch last night as it began its historic trek to the northern city of Nome to deliver its cargo of 1 million gallons of diesel and 400,000 gallons of gasoline.
According to the United States Coast Guard, the vessel was just 15 miles into its journey, when it was discovered that a mechanical problem arose with one of its engines. According to Mark Smith, CEO of Vitus Marine, the tanker encountered higher than normal cylinder head temperatures that hampered its speed through the rough waters.
The tanker turned around and headed back in the direction that it came and anchored in Broad Bay a few miles outside of Dutch Harbor and shut down to do repairs. The repairs, that involved machining a new part for the engine was done on board. According to Smith, the repairs only took about three hours.
After the repairs are complete, the vessel will have to be inspected again by the Coast Guard to insure that all is well. The tanker is expected to continue back on its 800-mile voyage early this morning.
The tanker, and its escort, the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, will encounter sea-ice up to two feet thick on their trek north through the Bering Sea to make their mid-winter delivery.