• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 43s

Melting sea ice strands trucks in Nome

By KTVA CBS 11 News 10:40 AM April 29, 2014

A group of miners outside Nome moved fast, but the sea ice moved faster.

After two trucks became stranded on the ice off the coast of Nome Sunday, it took about a dozen people and some Alaska ingenuity to bring them back.

Video captured Sunday by Nome resident Donny Johnson shows the trucks stuck on the ice after a floe broke loose, leaving a stretch of open water between the vehicles and the shore. Johnson said the trucks were in the process of removing mining equipment from the sea ice when they becomes stranded. Several smaller vehicles were able to drive off the ice before it broke loose, but the larger trucks weren’t so lucky.

So Monday afternoon, about 10 people traveled back out to the ice and drove the trucks to the edge. Nome resident Elmer Bekoalok, who photographed the rescue from shore, said dozens of holes were drilled into the ice around the trucks. Before it could break free, another small floe drifted by, close enough to drive the trucks onto it.

With the trucks resting on a makeshift ice raft, Bekoalok said rescuers used a 6-foot zodiac equipped with a 3.5 horsepower outboard motor to push the ice barge towards shore. But as the trucks approached dry land, the recovery operation hit a snag when the ice barge bottomed out in shallow water. Bekoalok said he tried to help tow the ice raft with an ATV on the beach, but it wouldn’t budge. Some people tore apart a mining sluice box in an attempt to make a makeshift ramp, he said. They had no luck.

Finally, Bekoalok said, their fortunes changed with the turning tide.

As the water rose, a larger ice floe bumped up against the makeshift raft and shoved it towards the shore. Seconds later, Bekoalok said, the pressure from the incoming floe broke the ice barge in half, but by that point the trucks had already driven up onto the beach.

“It was a lot of chaos, but it turned out,” he said.

 –Video courtesy Elmer Bekoalok

Latest Stories

  • News

    Open on Thanksgiving: Workers say it’s about more than a bolstered paycheck

    by Eric Ruble on Nov 26, 22:58

    Most people would argue the biggest perk of working on a holiday is the extra pay. But at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on Northern Lights Boulevard, the staff said there are other benefits to working on Thanksgiving. “We didn’t have as many customers as we typically have, but they were very grateful that I was here,” […]

  • On-Air

    Reality Check w/ John Tracy: Skip Black Friday, shop local

    by John Tracy on Nov 26, 16:30

      Black Friday: The retail cure for the Thanksgiving hangover. Big box stores lure us in with one-time only deals, and we respond like Santa to sugar cookies. Last year, Americans spent more than $50 Billion dollars on Black Friday weekend. But, before you set your alarm clock for 5 a.m., I want to encourage you […]

  • News

    Mountain View gas station serves free meals for holiday

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 26, 16:00

    You don’t usually find a full kitchen at a gas station, but a former take-out counter in Mountain View serves a different purpose once a year. On Thanksgiving, it serves the community. In Sook Baik owns the neighbor Shell station. Like many who have found their way to Alaska, she’s an immigrant. She moved from Korea with close […]

  • News

    Soldotna man killed in house fire Thanksgiving morning, wife survives

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 26, 15:37

    A Soldotna man was killed in a residential fire Thursday morning after waking his wife and alerting her to the danger. Alaska State Troopers in Soldotna received a 911 call reporting a fire on Mackey Lake Road at 7:14 a.m., according to an online dispatch. One of the residents of the home, 90-year-old John Kelsch, […]

  • Lifestyle

    Tips for safe online shopping in the age of hackers

    by Amy Kraft / CBS News on Nov 26, 15:35

    Nearly 135 million Americans will be shopping on Thanksgiving weekend according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Although Black Fridayand Cyber Monday are perfect times to buy gifts for the upcoming holidays, they are also the perfect time for hackers to steal customers’ credit card and personal data. “Security has now become a board […]

  • News

    Meals on Wheels delivers Thanksgiving dinner for Anchorage seniors

    by Heather Hintze on Nov 26, 15:33

    Long before the sun came up Thanksgiving morning, volunteers were hard at work at the Salvation Army’s McKinnel House. There was an assembly line of people scooping mashed potatoes and piling on the turkey for more than 300 dinners for the Meals on Wheels program to make sure no senior citizens go hungry this holiday. […]

  • News

    Hundreds turn out for Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 26, 15:04

    This year’s Skinny Raven Turkey Trot in downtown Anchorage was host to more than 2,100 runners, making it the largest Turkey Trot to date. Some of the runners turned out in full costume, while others dressed for the chilly morning weather. First time “Turkey trotters” Michael and Milly Sullivan arrived decked out in turkey hats […]

  • Lifestyle

    Tests zero in on source of E. coli in Costco chicken salad

    by Associated Press on Nov 26, 15:02

    Testing has pointed toward a vegetable mix from a California food wholesaler as the source of E. coli in Costco chicken salad that has been linked to an outbreak that has sickened 19 people in seven states, a Costco official said Wednesday. Craig Wilson, Costco vice president of food safety and quality assurance, said he was told […]