Ice Traps Russian Ferry Carrying 127 Passengers

Russian-flagged Igor Farkhutdinov cruise ship, carrying 127 passengers and 42 shipping containers, got stuck in thick ice off the coast of Japan earlier this week.

The vessel headed from Shikotan island, administered by the Russian Federation as part of Yuzhno-Kurilsky District of Sakhalin Oblast, to the Sakhalin port of Korsakov on February 5.

However, when exiting the Kunashirsky Strait, near the Japanese city of Mombetsu, the ship met dense ice up to 1.5 meters thick, the Sakhalin government said.

At the moment, the ship, which according to the government is an ice-class vessel with an experienced captain, is trying to navigate through the icy waters.

As informed, the ship is no immediate danger.

We expect that the ice situation will improve today, with the tide and a change in the wind direction, enabling the ship to escape the ice and arrive in Korsakov on February 9,” General Director of the maritime company Sakhalin – Kuriles, Sergey Kondrashin, said.

Kondrashin added that the company was in contact with the crew and that the ship has enough supplies and fuel to last for a week.

According to the government release, should the situation complicate further, an icebreaker from Vladivostok is at the company’s disposal to assist the passenger ship.

World Maritime News Staff

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