11 People Evacuated From Stranded Russian Ship

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MOSCOW (AP) – Russian officials say rescuers have evacuated 11 people by helicopter from a cargo vessel stranded in icy waters off the coast of eastern Russia.

A rescue center spokesman on Russia’s Far Eastern Sakhalin Island said the evacuees were flown Saturday to Sakhalin on a privately owned helicopter.

Nikolai Ivanov says the refrigerator ship, which still has 20 crew members on board, is now making slow progress to safer waters closer to the shore, some 55 kilometers (34 miles) away.

The Smolninsky was battered by heavy winds Friday, freezing it over and causing the vessel to list dangerously to its port side.

An icebreaking ship belonging to the Sakhalin Energy company is sailing in the vicinity of the ailing vessel to ensure the safety of the crew.

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