Icebreaker returns to Seattle after Antarctic rescue voyage

SEATTLE (AP) — The Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star has returned to its Seattle homeport after a 101-day deployment to the Antarctic that included a dramatic rescue.

The crew escorted a cargo vessel and a fuel tanker to McMurdo Station in Antarctica before responding to a search and rescue call 900 miles northeast of McMurdo Sound.

The Polar Star managed to rescue 26 fishermen trapped in a heavy ice pack and towed their vessel, the Australian-flagged Antarctic Chieftain, through about 60 miles of pack ice to open water where the vessel's crew could once again maneuver.