The Russian icebreakers Krasin and Admiral Makarov rescuing the ice-trapped mother fishery ship Sodruzhestvo have cleared the most difficult stretch of eight nautical miles over the past 36 hours.
The icebreakers resumed towing the vessel, stuck in the Sea of Okhotsk, toward clear waters on Wednesday. The rescue operation was earlier suspended due to poor weather conditions.
"The vessels covered the distance of eight miles since they began towing the Sodruzhestvo," said Tatyana Kulikova, a spokeswoman for the Far Eastern Shipping Company, adding that 25 miles still remain to be covered to reach clear waters.
The Bereg Nadezhdy ship, the Professor Kizevetter research vessel, and the Sodruzhestvo, carrying altogether over 400 people, 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 later.
The Admiral Makarov released the Professor Kizevetter and the Mys Yelizavety vessels from the ice trap, while the Anton Gurin managed to cope on its own. The Bereg Nadezhdy was successfully towed to clear water Monday.
The Sodruzhestvo is the hardest to tow due to its wide body. The icebreakers have to coordinate their efforts to clear a wide canal in thick ice for the vessel to finally reach open waters.
VLADIVOSTOK, January 28 (RIA Novosti)