Environment: Free At Last! Bon Voyage!

The whales finally escape their icy Arctic prison

The last major obstacle to freedom was a towering ridge of Arctic ice, 400 yds. wide and 30 ft. high. The Soviet icebreaker Admiral Makarov, which had been heading home when it was diverted to aid in the rescue, took nearly a day to reduce the barrier to rubble. By late afternoon a sister ship, the Vladimir Arseniev, plowed within 400 yds. of two California gray whales that had been trapped in the ice off Point Barrow, Alaska. Sensing that their escape was at hand, the whales, nicknamed Putu (Ice Hole) and Siku (Ice), swam out of their icy prison into...

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