Around 80 fishermen were saved by the Lithuanian Naval Rescue Service on Sunday morning after ice began to move in the Curonian Lagoon near the Ventė horn and fishermen became trapped on floating ice sheets.
© DELFI skaitytojo nuotr.

The rescue operation involved a State Border Guard Service vessel, as well as an Air Force helicopter, according to the Naval Force Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre.

“Border Guard hovercrafts Kristina and Viesulas saved the lives of 30 people. About 50 fishermen were saved by firefighters. Currently, one ship is on patrol in Nida, and another – in the lagoon. When the border guard rescue boats or a helicopter come by, people are obedient, and they leave the ice, but as soon as rescuers depart, these same fishermen, regardless of the weather, start walking on the ice again, trying to fish and risk their own lives and of those who have to save them,” said Giedrius Mišutis, the head of the Prevention Division at the State Border Guard Service, on LRT radio.

The operation was launched at 8:01 pm on January 31 when the centre received a report that a man saw seven people trapped on ice floating close to Nida about one kilometre away from the shore.