A Maltese-flagged cargo ship caught fire yesterday while stuck in heavy ice in the Azov Sea. The vessel, the M/V Captain Ivan Vikulov, sent a distress signal to maritime authorities in the Ukraine Sunday morning requesting assistance.
The icebreaker, Kapitan Moshkin, along with a helicopter were dispatched to the scene to rescue 14 Russian crew members on board. 10 crew members were evacuated by helicopter as 4 remained onboard to fight the fire. The four were later forced to retreat to the icebreaker as the fire engulfed the vessel.
The news agency Interfax has reported that the fire has been extinguished and that the vessel is currently at anchor some 50 km off the coast near the village of Strilkove. Interfax also reported that the Captain Ivan Vikulov was heading from Algeria to Rostov-on-Don but has been blocked by ice since January 28.