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Needle-in-a-haystack Arctic rescue is a success as two men discovered by an icebreaker crew

By The Siberian Times reporter
19 December 2020

The fishermen were found drifting on an ice floe in the area bigger than Switzerland.

'Their chances of rescue were next to negligible, as the area of the Gulf of Ob is 44,500 square kilometres which is eighteen cities the size of Moscow'. Picture: Gazprom Neft

Two fishermen from the Arctic settlement of Antipayuta on the Yamal peninsula were driving on ice in the Gulf of Ob when they hit a crack on 17 December. 

The snowmobile sank, but they managed to jump over the crack - only to find themselves on a vast sheet of floating ice. 

The two men whose ages and identities have not been reported managed to send an SOS signal to local rescuers, who at first struggled to geotag them. 

Air temperature in the area was down to minus 35C. 

‘Their chances of rescue were next to negligible, as the area of the Gulf of Ob is 44,500 square kilometres which is eighteen cities the size of Moscow.

‘The floating ice they were on could have cracked under their feet at any time. 

‘The crew of Alexander Sannikov icebreaker heard about the emergency from rescuers and went to search for the fishermen’, said a representative of Gazprom Neft company that owns the icebreaker. 

Needle-in-a-haystack Arctic rescue is a success as two men discovered by an icebreaker crew 

Once the icebreaker crew joined the search with a giant searchlight and night visors, the men were found in just over two hours. 

‘They had spent a day drifting on the ice floe.’ 

The fishermen were warmly dressed for the journey which is what helped them to survive until the help arrived. 

‘Both men are feeling well under the eye of the icebreaker’s medics,’ said Gazprom Neft after they were lifted on board.

Today they were flown by a helicopter to Cape Kamenniy across the bay from Antipayuta. 

Two fishermen from the Arctic settlement of Antipayuta on the Yamal peninsula were driving on ice in the Gulf of Ob when they hit a crack on 17 December. Pictures: Gazprom Neft, Sanya Lapsuy 

Needle-in-a-haystack Arctic rescue is a success as two men discovered by an icebreaker crew 


Needle-in-a-haystack Arctic rescue is a success as two men discovered by an icebreaker crew 


Needle-in-a-haystack Arctic rescue is a success as two men discovered by an icebreaker crew 


Needle-in-a-haystack Arctic rescue is a success as two men discovered by an icebreaker crew 


Needle-in-a-haystack Arctic rescue is a success as two men discovered by an icebreaker crew 

Comments (4)

Yeah. Good job Russian Coast Guard!
David, NC USA
05/01/2021 14:41
1
0
Wow, very cold. nice to have satellite beacon for s.o.s. And we thought it was cold here christmas morning at 50F., and it got up to 73 F. during the day! Feel bad for them losing their sled though, am sure it is a very valuble commodity to their livelyhood. And cheers to icebreaker and helicopter owner for not charging them for fuel they used as well as their time.
joe smith, california u.s.a
26/12/2020 19:59
5
1
Praise the Lord for directing their rescue!!!
Haskap, Saskatoon
23/12/2020 21:39
8
0
Wow, good job Russian Coast Guard!
Adam, Seattle, USA
20/12/2020 13:04
16
0
1

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