Sunday, January 09, 2011

Rescue delayed

The rescue operation to free Russian ships trapped in the ice in the Sea of Okhotsk has been delayed due to bad weather conditions. It looks as if they haven't even got the Bereg Nadezhdy out. Why am I not in the least surprised?

Things are becoming serious amid the stormy wind, near-zero visibility and strong ice pressure, the Russian Ministry of Transport says. The icebreaker Krasin, which is sailing at full speed to assist the icebreaker Admiral Makarov, is expected to arrive at the site later today.

Earlier, TASS was saying that the Krasin had arrived in the Okhotsk Sea and was making its way through the ice fields of the Sakhalin Gulf in a bid to reach the Admiral Makarov. The Makarov was said to be towing the Bereg Nadezhdy (Shore of Hope) to clear waters, and the Krasin was just 9 miles short of that convoy.

That seems to have been rather over-optimistic reporting - something which TASS is prone to do. But with this agency now reporting delays in the operation, things must be very serious indeed.