40 Russian fishermen rescued from broken ice float

Some 40 Russian fishermen have been rescued after they were briefly stranded on the ice when a giant slab broke off from shore.

Emergencies Ministry official Vitaliy Darchia said in a statement that a group of fishermen were airlifted to shore on Tuesday after being stranded on a large chunk of ice that unexpectedly floated away from Russia's Far East Khabarovsk region. The group, along with their 28 cars, was rescued in under four hours.

In the winter, fishermen in Russia frequently saw a circle into the ice to fish in the unfrozen water below.

Ice drifts usually occur in early spring when ice begins to melt, but sharp changes in regional temperatures have weakened the ice.