Russian icebreaker rescue near success

Jan. 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- An icebreaker rescue operation off Russia's Far East is nearly complete, a shipping company says.

The icebreakers Krasin and Admiral Makarov towed the fishing factory ship Sodruzhestvo through the heaviest pack ice in the Sea of Okhotsk Thursday, Tass reported.

The convoy covered 8 nautical miles (9.2 miles) and will soon reach drifting ice, with 30 nautical miles (34.5 miles) to go to clear water.

"The voyage is likely to take another two days and the rescue operation may end Jan. 30," Tatyana Kulikova of the Far Eastern Shipping Co. told Tass.

The Sodruzhestvo, the Bereg Nadezhdy, the research vessel Professor Kizevetter, with more than 400 people aboard combined, got trapped in 6-foot-thick ice on New Year's Eve. Two other ships, the Mys Yelizavety and the Anton Gurin, got stuck three days later.

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