Meteorologists have predicted worsening weather conditions over the next two days in Russia's Far East Sea of Okhotsk, where an operation to release Russian fishing vessel trapped in ice is ongoing.
The Sodruzhestvo mother fishery ship, with 348 crew members on board, has been trapped in two-meter-thick ice in the Sea of Okhotsk since December 31. It got stuck together with four other ships, three of which were later released by the Krasin and the Admiral Makarov icebreakers.
"In the next two days, winds are predicted to strengthen and visibility to decrease," a spokeswoman for Russia's Far East Shipping Company said.
The Krasin icebreaker reached the trapped vessel on Tuesday and is now trying to take it in tow, the spokeswoman said. The distance between the trapped ship and open waters is about 100 nautical miles, he added.
It was originally planned that the Krasin and the Admiral Makarov icebreakers would first rescue the other trapped vessel, the Bereg Nadezhdy refrigerator ship, but the plans were changed due to poor weather conditions. They left the Bereg Nadezhdy, which has 35 people on board, in a safe area, and will later move it toward clear waters in a single-file convoy of four vessels.
The Sodruzhestvo is considered to be the most difficult of the vessels to free as the operation will involve the Admiral Makarov and the Krasin coordinating efforts to clear a wide canal in thick ice to allow the wide-bodied vessel to reach open waters.
VLADIVOSTOK, January 12 (RIA Novosti)