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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 23:41 GMT
Stranded Alaska oil ship rescued
Seabulk Pride
The tanker was loading fuel at the port when it was struck by ice
A laden oil tanker that ran aground on the Alaskan coast after being struck by a fast-moving ice floe has been refloated, the US Coast Guard says.

Tug boats used high tides to steer the Seabulk Pride away from the beach in Nikiski where it got stuck on Thursday.

"The ship is once again a ship rather than a beach ornament," an official reportedly said, adding that there was no sign of oil leaking from the vessel.

A 1989 oil spill from the Exxon Valdez did lasting damage to Alaskan wildlife.

The latest accident reportedly caused two barrels, containing some 84 gallons (318 litres) of fuel, to spill into the Cook Inlet.

Helicopters and tugboats were sent to the area to assess the extent of the environmental damage.

Double-hull design

A US Coast Guard spokeswoman told AFP news agency the tanker was pulled free by tug boats on Friday and was running on its own power.

She said the vessel is awaiting a thorough inspection but does not appear to have suffered any serious damage.

The ship was struck by a fast-moving ice floe as it was loading fuel at Nikiski port on Thursday.

Ice and tides tore the 175m (575ft) long tanker away from its moorings and pushed it several hundred metres along the coast before it eventually ran aground on silt.

Thirty four people were on board at the time of the accident.

The tanker was built in 1998 with two hulls, a design brought in during the 1990s to protect cargoes.

It is owned by Seabulk International Inc, which was recently acquired by Seacor Holdings Inc.

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