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Helicopters, Navy ships rescue hundreds from ice floes in Latvia

Published time: March 29, 2013 13:14
Edited time: March 30, 2013 16:45
Fishermen are pictured on a rescue ship at the Riga Port Authority on March 29, 2013 in Riga.(AFP Photo / Edijs Palens)

Fishermen are pictured on a rescue ship at the Riga Port Authority on March 29, 2013 in Riga.(AFP Photo / Edijs Palens)

Over 200 people, including women and children, have been rescued from two ice floes that drifted away from the shores of Latvia, the country’s emergency ministry has reported.

The massive rescue operation in the Gulf of Riga involved helicopters and Navy ships. Bad weather conditions and high waves hampered rescue efforts at times, but the operation was completed successfully.

“219 people have been rescued from the two ice floes. The evacuation is over,” Latvian emergency officials told RIA Novosti.

There were 180 people on an ice floe near Vakarbulli beach, and another 39 on one near Majori beach. Initial reports suggested that there were over 500 people on both ice floes.

One of the ice floes was washed as far as 4 kilometers away from shore. At one point it could not be reached by rescue boats, so the operation was continued by helicopter.

The situation was critical, as winds are very strong and the boats involved in the rescue operation were suitable for inland waters, not the sea, State Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Victoria Sembele said, according to TVNET website.

The Latvian Emergency Ministry has once again urged people not to walk on ice.

A similar incident occurred in Russia`s Kaliningrad region, the country`s most western territory, where 80 fishermen had to be rescued from a drifting ice floe as it washed away one kilometer off shore.

Fishermen leave a rescue ship at the Riga Port Authority on March 29, 2013 in Riga.(AFP Photo / Edijs Palens)

Rescued fishermen are pictured after leaving the Riga Port Authority on March 29, 2013 in Riga.(AFP Photo / Iilmrs Znotins)

A man rescued from an ice floe disembarks from an emergency service rescue boat in Riga March 29, 2013.(Reuters / Edijs Palens )

image by @skrabans

image by @skrabans

image by @skrabans

image by @skrabans

Comments (30)

Anonymous user 30.03.2013 23:31

The same thing happens nearly every year with ice-fishermen in Lake Erie.

 

Natalie Diaz 30.03.2013 02:03

If you think Kyle`s story is cool..., three weeks-ago my mum's girl friend basically got a cheque for $5607 working 20 hour's a week from there house and there classmate's step-mother`s neighbour done this for 6 months and made more than $5607 in their spare time from a computer. applie the advice on this address, Fox76.com

Anonymous user 29.03.2013 23:35

Just a Latvian Navy exercises to demonstrate new Latvian military and transport floes to the world.

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