Russia rescues 536 fishermen stranded on after enormous piece of ice breaks away from island

Hundreds of fisherman were stranded after the ice broke away
Hundreds of fisherman were stranded after the ice broke away Copyright Russia Emergency Situations Ministry
By Rachael Kennedy with AP
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Local authorities say fishermen have ignored safety warning about the floating ice - known as ice floes - which leads to repeated incidents.


Emergency teams in Russia have rescued hundreds of fishermen who were left stranded after a huge piece of floating ice they were standing on broke away from an island in eastern Siberia.

Pictures from the scene on Sakhalin island on Wednesday show some of the 536 fishermen standing at the waters' edge, while others try to use smaller pieces of ice as a raft to travel back.

Russia Emergency Situations Ministry
Some of the fisherman tried to raft across on smaller pieces of iceRussia Emergency Situations Ministry

It eventually took seven hours to rescue the fishermen from the ice - known as an ice floe - as it continued to drift further away.

Some of the fishermen said it had drifted around 200 metres from island by the time they were rescued.

Russia Emergency Situations Ministry
It took seven hours to rescue the fishermenRussia Emergency Situations Ministry

The operation on Wednesday was the third of its kind in a week at on Sakhalin. It follows an incident on January 22 when 300 people were left stranded, and another on Sunday, involving 600 people.

According to local authorities, the repeated incidents are due to fishermen ignoring safety warnings and continuing to ice fish in the area.

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