Sunday, April 1, 2012

Not So Cool Runnings: 675 Russian Fisherman Saved from Runaway Ice Floe

It might have been the key for Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius and Hermey to escape from the wicked Bumble, but 675 Russian ice fisherman had to be rescued from their runaway ice floe that started drifting out to sea.

Emergency services had to be called out to rescue the large group of fishers when an ice floe they were all fishing on started drifting out to sea in the far east of the country. None of the men needed medical treatment, emergency services reported from nearby Sakhalin Island, in the Sea of Okhotsk , where the incident occurred. Almost half of the group were rescued using helicopters, while the other half were plucked to safety by an armada of boats called in to assist in the emergency.

One of the men rescued,  Vladimir Vasilenko, had thought better of going out onto the floe, as the conditions were very windy. "Of course the wind was blowing from the shore. We should have thought that something could happen, but people were going and we went as well,” he said in a televised Russian interview. “We also heard on the radio that it was the last chance for fishermen, and so we went fishing.”

Ice fishers sometimes get stranded during early spring during the thaw, but this is the first time such an enormous group of people has fallen victim to the quickly-changing climatic conditions.

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