The Bereg Nadezhdy refrigerator vessel, stranded in ice in the Sea of Okhotsk since late December, has been successfully towed to clear water, a spokesman for Russia's Federal Fishing Agency said on Monday.
"The refrigerator vessel is out of danger," spokesman Alexander Savelev said. "In the next few hours, after refueling, the icebreakers will return for the Sodruzhestvo mother fishery ship."
He said the weather conditions were favorable for the rescue operation, with temperatures of -14.
"The crew is alive and healthy, although during the operation a sailor had to be evacuated from one of the icebreakers with suspected appendicitis," Savelev said.
The Bereg Nadezhdy ship, the Professor Kizevetter research vessel, and the Sodruzhestvo mother fishery ship, carrying over 400 people total, got stuck in two-meter-thick ice in the Sea of Okhotsk on December 31. Two other ships, the Mys Yelizavety and the Anton Gurin, became trapped a few days later.
The Admiral Makarov ice breaker released the Professor Kizevetter and the Mys Yelizavety vessels from the ice trap, while the Anton Gurin managed to cope on its own.
The rescue operation for the other two vessels was postponed due to poor weather conditions.
MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti)