A Mi-8 rescue helicopter has evacuated 14 sailors from two Russian fishing vessels which have been trapped in ice near the Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East for six days.
"The evacuation was a success. The crew members did not require any medical assistance," a spokesman for local emergencies services told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
The two trawlers were fishing in the northern part of the Gulf of Patience off the southeastern coast of Sakhalin when they became stranded in ice last Thursday. Three rescue boats had been sent to aid the vessels, but they failed to break through heavy ice floe.
The two identical 104-ton vessels, which are owned by the Sakhalin-based Farvater company, will remain in the "ice prison" until the weather conditions allow to tow them to a home port in the town of Kholmsk on Sakhalin.
The island and surrounding areas have been recently hit by a cold spell with temperatures dropping as low as minus 38 Celsius (minus 36 F) at night.
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, January 19 (RIA Novosti)