Five fishermen rescued from sinking ship off Newfoundland

Dense Arctic pack ice has trapped multiple vessels and triggered a high-stakes rescue operation from a sinking ship off Newfoundland.

Five fishermen were rescued on Wednesday from the Avalon Princess fishing boat, which started to take on water after getting caught in heavy sea ice near La Scie.

Trevor Hodgson, the Canadian Coast Guard's superintendent of ice operations for the Atlantic region, says the heavy ice is more than two metres thick in some areas off Newfoundland's northeast coast.

He says ice conditions are so bad, the Coast Guard has been unable to free trapped vessels with its icebreaker Amundsen.