Russia says it has sent an ice-breaking ship to Sakhalin Bay in Russia's Far East where five ships became icebound in the last week.
The Admiral Makarov icebreaker is conducting rescue operations Wednesday after another smaller icebreaker, the Magadan, did not have enough power to free the icebound ships alone, RIA Novosti reported.
"Admiral Makarov icebreaker that approached troubled Magadan icebreaker at 4 p.m. local time (1:00 a.m. EST) will start freeing the vessel to let it move," Far East Shipping Co. spokeswoman Tatiana Kulikova said.
The trapped ships in the Sea of Okhotsk include the Sodruzhestvo fishery mother ship, the refrigerator freighter Bereg Nadezhdy, and a scientific research ship, the Professor Kizevetter.
Two other ships, the Cape Elizabeth and Anton Gurin refrigerator freighter, have already been freed.
After the Admiral Makarov frees the Magadan icebreaker it will head for the stranded Professor Kizevetter scientific research ship, Kulikova said.