A year later, Alaska pilot for Russian oil tanker reflects on Nome fuel run

Capt. Peter Garay will receive a legislative honor Thursday in Homer for guiding the Russian oil tanker Renda on its successful fuel-delivery mission across the Bering Sea to ice-bound Nome last January. Garay tells the Homer Tribune it was more than a rescue mission -- it was a test of Coast Guard competence in the Arctic.


Sergey Kyptov, the Russian Renda captain, and Garay formed a partnership that benefited from Russia’s more substantial experience of breaking through ice.

“That’s where we (Americans) are sadly lacking. We don’t have a lot of experience in ice breaking and it raised the issue of having equipment that works,” Garay said. “I didn’t know how it would turn out. I would start out the day feeling like we were doing the impossible. I would tell  myself I am required to be the best I can could. ...

“There was a lot of conflict. At its worst, one of the Russians pointed out patience was our most valuable asset. And that was true – being patient as we identified what the issue was, then figuring out how to mitigate the problem. And we were successful.”

Read more at the Homer Tribune: Homer ship captain honored for Nome fuel run.

In January 2012, Garay compared the fuel run to the famous serum run to Nome in a column that appeared in the Daily News.