5 ships trapped by ice off eastern Russia

Two Russian icebreakers are trying to free a fishing trawler that among five ships with a total of more than 500 people aboard caught in heavy ice in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Three of the ships have been stuck since New Year's Eve in the arm of the Pacific west of the Kamchatsky Peninsula. The Transportation Ministry says those ships have sufficient water and supplies and their crews are not considered to be in immediate danger.

The icebreakers were concentrating Tuesday on a trawler seen as being in the most danger because it's drifting and only about one kilometer (half a mile) from land, Russian news reports said.

The operation has been hampered by high winds. Nikolai Shatalin, of the company that owns the icebreakers, said a break in the weather was expected Wednesday.