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22:33 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Over 120 ships stranded in heavy ice in Gulf of Finland

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More than 120 vessels have become stranded in ice in the Gulf of Finland, with their number growing by 20 ships every day, the St. Petersburg seaport administration said on Monday.

More than 120 vessels have become stranded in ice in the Gulf of Finland, with their number growing by 20 ships every day, the St. Petersburg seaport administration said on Monday.

The Gulf of Finland has been iced over for more than a month, with dozens of ships waiting for assistance because they are unable to ply their way through the heavy one-meter-thick ice floes. The situation in the gulf deteriorated last week after a cyclone from the Norwegian Sea hit the region.

A total of 11 icebreakers, including the Taymyr-class Vaigach nuclear powered icebreaker, have been sent to the area to help the stranded ships out. As of early Monday, 121 vessels out of 135 sailing in the gulf have been trapped in the ice, the port administration said. Only seven ships are currently sailing through the area, moving through ice channels hewed by the icebreakers.

Strong winds and snow over the gulf have hampered rescue operations, the port administration added.

ST.PETERSBURG, March 28 (RIA Novosti)