Police rescue dozens of fishers stranded on Lake Peipus ice

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Broken up ice on Lake Peipus. March 2018.
Broken up ice on Lake Peipus. March 2018. Source: PPA

Police in Estonia successfully conducted a rescue operation after dozens of fishermen were stranded on the ice of Lake Peipus near the village of Varnja on Friday.

"A majority of the area around the crack [in the ice] has been checked by now," said Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) East Prefecture spokesperson Kerly Virk. "In the process, those in distress have been brought to shore, and it has been ensured that nobody has been left in the danger area anymore."

The search for further potential fishers in distress is still underway in some areas, she added.

A South Prefecture spokesperson told ERR at 1:30 p.m. on Friday that none of the men's lives were in immediate danger, and that a Border Guard hovercraft and boats were dispatched to rescue them.

Approximately 100 people had registered themselves with the Varnja Border Guard Station as going fishing on Friday. How many of them ended up caught behind the break to form in the ice, the spokesperson couldn't yet say.

A ban on going on the ice on internal bodies of water entered in to effect in Estonia on Wednesday, but this ban did not extend to Lake Peipus. This ban did not extend to Lake Peipus, however, which is a transboundary body of water.

A full ban on going on the ice on the border lake is to take effect on Saturday.

The Estonian Rescue Board is reminding everyone that should anyone flout the ban as well as rescue workers' orders to come off the ice, rescue workers have the right to summon the police to the scene, who will in turn launch a misdemeanor procedure.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: ERR, BNS

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