Hundreds of anxious fishermen spent a night on disintegrating ice floes in Europe’s largest lake, waiting for rescuers to arrive in helicopters and boats. Six people drowned as the ice broke up, but about 900 others were rescued, officials said Monday.
The fishermen were trapped on Lake Ladoga, northeast of St. Petersburg, when the ice started breaking up Sunday. The lake, which covers 6,700 square miles, is a popular ice-fishing spot for Russians who gather on its frozen surface every winter.
Those trapped huddled in small groups, some within inches of water that can kill in a matter of minutes.
Ice fishing is highly popular in Russia, both for sport and for food, and thousands of anglers become stranded every year. Many are carried out to sea before rescuers can reach them.