Passengers rescued from drifting ship in the Sea of Okhotsk

Eleven passengers have been evacuated from Russian refrigerator ship “Smolninsky” which was caught adrift in the Sea of Okhotsk 220 kilometers from the Island of Sakhalin in Russia's Far East after a storm.

An Mi-8 helicopter delivered the passengers to the city of Nogliki at about 15:56 local time, Itar-Tass news agency reports. Twenty crew members are still on board trying to navigate the vessel to safer waters.

The temperature at the site is -20 ºC and waves are reaching a height of five meters, though the vessel is thankfully restoring equilibrium from the dangerous 30 degrees list to port.

To bolster rescue efforts, one more helicopter has been sent to the area, ready to take off from its pad in the town of Okha at any time. In addition, the vessel “Degtyarsk” and a tug boat involved in oil and gas projects off Sakhalin have also been drafted in.

The Smolninsky sent a distress signal on Friday, January 22, after it lost power in the severe weather conditions.