As the maritime industry seeks to expand its presence into Arctic waters, a report today from Russia may be cause for pause.According to an Itar-Tass report, more than 600 crewmembers are aboard the 10 vessels trapped in the ice in the Sea of Okhotsk. According to the news agency, distress signals have been received from the Sodruzhestvo fishing mother ship and the Professor Kizevetter scientific research vessel. All their attempts to get to the clear water have failed, the state sea rescue coordination center reported. The temperature in the area is 22 degrees below zero, and according to the forecast, it will fall lower. A distress stage and the rescue operation beginning have been declared in the region. The sea rescue tugboats Irbis, Predanny and Rubin have reportedly left for the area to evacuate people, according to the report. One of them is expected to approach the edge of the ice on Friday evening. The rest are expected to come there on January 2.
According to the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk sea rescue coordination centre (the coordinator of the rescue operation), the Sodruzhestvo, the Bereg Nadezhdy transport refrigerator and the Professor Kizevetter scientific research vessel (all are from the port of Vladivostok) are in the worst situation.; blocked in the ice 11-12 miles away from the mainland coast. (Source: www.itar-tass.com)