VLADIVOSTOK, January 20 (Itar-Tass) — A heavy ice situation has now complicated the ferry service linking Vladivostok with the Russkiy (Russian) Island. On Friday, it took the Ussuri Gulf ferry two hours longer than usually is the case to cover a distance of several kilometres between the island and the city. Yet another ferry, the Zaliv Vostoka (Gulf of the East) sustained a propeller damage on Thursday and dropped out of operation for an indefinite time.
An official in the Mortrans sea shipping company said all the ships operating in the Amur Gulf are of appropriate icebreaking class. However, this year air temperatures are somewhat lower than usual. The ice broken at night then freezes together into a more solid mass, through which ferries have to force their way for several hours. Weather forecasts are that frosty weather in Primorsky (maritime) Territory will keep on until the middle of February.
In the meantime, while the bridge over the Strait of Bosporus East is under construciton, ferries are the only transportation craft for the Russkiy Island inhabitants to get to the mainland. The bridge is to come into operation at the beginning of summer.