Coast Guard cutter frees vessel from Antarctic ice

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The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Polar Star freed the fishing vessel Antarctic Chieftain Friday night that was beset in ice approximately 900 miles northwest of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

After meeting with the 207-foot fishing vessel, the crew of Polar Star took the Antarctic Chieftain in a stern tow. The vessels are surrounded by 12 to 15 feet thick ice covered with two feet of snow. Towing in ice is much more hazardous than towing in open water and is a slow process.

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