54 Fishermen Trapped on Ice Floe Drift Out To Sea

CENPublished: April 10, 2018
Published: April 10, 2018

A group of 54 anglers almost became the ones that got away themselves when they were stranded on a drifting ice floe after it snapped off from the Russian coastline.

Rescuers say the 54 trapped men - who had been ice fishing on the frozen south east shore - were plucked to safety by hovercraft.

The drama began when a crack 10 metres (33 feet) long ripped through the coastline of Sakhalin island, setting the anglers adrift.

By the time rescuers reached them, the ice had drifted 500 metres (1,640 feet) out to sea in the Gulf of Mordvinov.

Ice fishing is a common sport on the island, where winter temperatures can reach as low as 20 degrees Celsius.

Earlier this week the region's Emergency Situations Ministry had warned fishermen to stay away because strong winds had begun to melt the ice shelf earlier than usual.

The local news website Sakhalin.info reported on the anglers: "Interestingly, the last two remaining on the ice floe declined to get on the boat, arguing that the fish were biting."

But the rescue has made the fishermen a social media laughing stock.

One user - named as 'Margo’ - said: "I think it is time to start fining those suicidal fishermen.

"They go on ice against the warning, and then the entire world has to save them with the taxpayers' money."

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