Press digest

2019 October 22

Russian Icebreaker Makes 'Accidental' Distress Call Off Norway Coast

A Russian icebreaker with 33 people on board has issued a mayday call accidentally after getting caught in a storm off the coast of western Norway.

The Norwegian Joint Rescue Coordination Center reported the call on October 22. But several minutes later, Russian media quoted the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency, Rosmorrechflot, as saying the distress signal was sent accidentally.

"There are no problems, the icebreaker is fine and the crew is safe. The distress signal was sent accidentally after a power outage affected some equipment during the storm. The alert has been canceled," TASS quoted a Rosmorrechflot spokesman as saying.

The distress call was sent when the Tor icebreaker was about 22 kilometers from the Norwegian coastal town of Aalesund.

The vessel began its voyage in St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea and was sailing around the Scandinavian peninsula and then north to the Arctic port of Sabetta in northwestern Siberia, Russian news agencies reported.

The ship's owner, Rosmorport, said it will continue its voyage after the weather improves, according to Interfax.