Norwegian Helicopter Rescues 12 From Russian Ship Stranded in Arctic

A Norwegian helicopter rescued all 12 crew members of a Russian freighter that lost power and struck rocks in a strong gale Tuesday off the Arctic port of Murmansk, officials said.

Russian authorities had requested Norway's help in rescuing the crew after their ship lost power during severe weather with winds of more than 35 mph and ran into rocks off the coast, Norwegian rescue official Oystein Aadde said.

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"It was probably due to geography. It was simply the closest helicopter," Aadde said.

A helicopter from Banak Air Base, near the town of Lakselv, hoisted the 12 crew members aboard and flew them to the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes, operations leader Sten-Rune Nikolaysen said.

"They are all fine. No one was injured," Nikolaysen said by telephone.