ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Improved ice conditions allowed the Coast Guard to open Cook Inlet to all marine traffic Thursday.
Upper Cook Inlet was closed to single-hull tank barges by the Coast Guard last Friday because of extreme, heavy ice conditions.
The closure came after a tug hauling a barge carrying aviation and diesel fuel reported difficulty maneuvering through heavy pack ice. After two hours battling the ice, the tug managed to turn around and head south to open water.
All ships in Cook Inlet have been under ice rules since Nov. 29. Vessels must travel low enough in the water to prevent ice from clogging water-intake vents. In addition, crews are required to have foul-weather gear and equipment operational to handle icy conditions.
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