Orcas rescued after getting trapped in ice

The team had to break apart the ice to set the animals free

Updated: 
Four orcas rescued after getting trapped in ice

This footage shows a real life case of Free Willy when rescue workers braved freezing waters to save four orcas that had become trapped in ice in the far east of Russia.

It's thought that the whales, which can grow to up to 32 foot in length, had become stuck in the waters over night.

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Denis Ilyinov, the Regional Head of Russian Emergency Ministry, explained that the waters are shallow and filled with stones

The team had to take a small boat to reach the whales who were between 50 and 100 metres from the coastline.

But that wasn't the end of their challenge though. They then had to create gaps in the ice for the whales to swim through.

It took the team several hours - but they managed to get three of the whales, including one calf, to freedom.

The rescuers then stayed with the fourth orca, protecting it from the ice, until higher waters allowed it to join the others.

According to National Geographic the whales usually hunt in pods of up to 40 orcas and they are also known to snap seals up straight from the ice.

They are normally found in cold waters anywhere from the polar regions to the Equator.

Britain's amazing sea life

Britain's amazing sea life