Russia's Krasin and Admiral Makarov icebreakers started an operation early on Sunday to free the ice-trapped Bereg Nadezdy refrigerator ship in the Sea of Okhotsk, the press office of the Russian Transport Ministry said.
"On instructions from the headquarters of rescue coordination in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the icebreakers approached at 05:00 a.m. Moscow time the Bereg Nadezhdy ship waiting for its rescue from the ice trap five miles to the south of the Sodruzhestvo mother fishery ship and started preparations for the ship's towing. At 09:25 a.m. Moscow time, the icebreakers started towing the refrigerator ship towards the Sodruzhestvo mother fishery ship," the press office said.
The Bereg Nadezhdy ship, the Professor Kizevetter research vessel, and the Sodruzhestvo mother fishery ship, carrying all together more than 400 people, became trapped in two-meter-thick ice in the Sea of Okhotsk on December 31. Two other ships, the Mys Yelizavety and the Anton Gurin, got stuck three days later.
On January 7 and 8, the Admiral Makarov released the Professor Kizevetter and the Mys Yelizavety vessels from the ice trap, while the Anton Gurin managed to cope with the situation on its own.
The rescue effort has been hampered by strong winds, low visibility and shifting ice floes in the area, the ministry said.
Now the icebreakers intend to bring the refrigerator to the Sodruzhestvo mother fishery ship and move toward clear waters in a single-file convoy.
MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti)