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Ferry rescue as passengers stranded in minus 30C on Yenisei River

By The Siberian Times reporter
26 November 2014

Eight hour drama before 70 people, including women and children, plucked to safety.

The ferry became stuck in shallow water in Yenisei River at 4pm and by midnight. Picture: e-river.ru 

The ferry ran aground on the Yenisei River some 300 kilometres north of Krasnoyarsk with 70 passengers and 30 cars on board. Two vessels - the Angara and Otradny - sought to free the stricken boat.

Passengers initially refused to leave their warm cars on board the vessel as rescuers sought to evacuate them on 25 November. 

The ferry became stuck in shallow water at 4pm and by midnight, after a third boat failed to free the vessel, the passengers agreed to leave. 25 were taken for the night to a hotel in the remote village of Strelka. 

Ferry rescue on Yenisei river


Ferry rescue on Yenisei river

By midnight, after a third boat failed to free the vessel, the passengers agreed to leave. Pictures: Ministry of Emergency in Krasnoyarsk Krai

The other victims were locals who made their way home. The cars remained on the stricken ferry. 

Other Siberian rivers freeze at minus 30C but the Yenisei's waters remain open on this stretch because of the impact of the 124 metre high Krasnoyarsk dam some 30 km upstream of the city of Kransnoyarsk. 

The dam and its discharge has the effect of warming the river for several hundred kilometres downstream allowing navigation to remain open longer than in other waterways.

Ferry crossing in winter

Ferry crossing near Strelka village in winter. Picture: Daria Anikienko

Rescuers were working to free the ferry, still loaded with cars. 

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