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VLADIVOSTOK, December 18 (Itar-Tass) — As many as 14 crewmembers were rescued from the upturned drilling platform Kolskaya on Sunday in the Sea of Okhotsk.
The Magadan icebreaker and the Neftegaz-55 tug-boat which were piloting the platform from the Kamchatka western coast to Sakhalin, participate in the rescue operation.
During the towing, high waves destroyed two air tanks on the platform. Water started gushing inside; pumps worked at the highest pitch to get it out. The storm also damaged the towing rope from the Magadan icebreaker. When the caravan was 145 miles north-east of Sakhalin, drill men sent a “SOS” signal, reported the Russian State Marine Rescue Centre.
Then, the centre received a report that the drilling platform upturned, and the ships are engaged in rescuing people. Two helicopters of the Aviashelf Company also participate in the rescue operation, reported its forwarding service.
The press service of the Transport Ministry specified to Itar-Tass that “there were 67 people aboard the platform: 53 crewmembers and 14 specialists on a business mission”. The rescue operation involves the Magadan icebreaker, the Neftegaz-55 tug-boat, two helicopters. The rescue Atlas vessel of the Sakhalin rescue authority and the M/S Yuri Tarakurov are speeding to the place of disaster. Waves are five-six metres high in the area of disaster, and wind gusts –16 m/sec.
The Kolskaya platform is registered at the port of Murmansk.