Worsening weather hampers rescue of ice-trapped Russian ship in Okhotsk Sea

VLADIVOSTOK.January 12. KAZINFORM Meteorologists have predicted that the weather will worsen sharply in the next two days in Russia's Far East Sea of Okhotsk, where a rescue of an ice-trapped Russian fishery ship is under way. Kazinform refers to Xinhua.

The Sodruzhestvo mother fishery ship, with 348 crew members on board, remains trapped in two-meter-thick ice in the Sea of Okhotsk since December 31. It got stuck together with four other ships, carrying all together more than 400 people, three of whom were later released by the Krasin and the Admiral Makarov icebreakers.

"In the next two days, winds are predicted to strengthen and visibility to lower," a spokeswoman for Russia's Far East Shipping Company said.

The Krasin icebreaker arrived on Tuesday at the site where the Sodruzhestvo ship is stuck and is now trying to take the vessel in tow, the spokeswoman said. The distance between the trapped ship and open waters is about 100 nautical miles, he added.

Freeing the Sodruzhestvo is considered to be the most difficult task as the Admiral Makarov and the Krasin would have to coordinate their efforts to clear a wide canal in thick ice to allow the wide-body vessel to reach open waters. Kazinform cites RIA Novosti. See www.en.ran.ru for full version

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