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U.S. Coast Guard busts Canadian sailboat out of Arctic ice

The U.S. Coast Guard has freed the 9-metre Altan Girl, a Canadian sailboat from Vancouver, that was attempting to sail to eastern Canada through the Northwest Passage.

Altan Girl out of Vancouver still intends to sail the Northwest Passage

Crew on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a polar icebreaker, tow the 9-metre Altan Girl through the sea ice about 65 kilometres northeast of Barrow, Alaska Saturday. (US Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard has freed a Canadian sailboat that became trapped in Arctic ice off the north coast of Alaska.

KTUU-TV reports the 9-metre Altan Girl out of Vancouver was attempting to sail to eastern Canada through the Northwest Passage.

It became trapped in ice about 65 kilometres northeast of Barrow, the northernmost city in the United States.

The Coast Guard cutter Healy reached the sailboat, and with the Altan Girl in tow, on Saturday cut a 19-kilometre path through ice to open water.

The sailboat's owner says he intends to wait in Barrow for better weather and to restock supplies.

The Healy is on a National Science Foundation funded research mission in the Arctic. The Coast Guard says the cutter is continuing with its research.

Watch a video of the Coast Guard towing the sailboat: