But they were still biting....
Moscow - Forty rescuers in boats and helicopters turned out in a dramatic operation to rescue 758 anglers - many of them the worse for drink - from an ice floe in Russia's Far East Sunday. Civil defence officials coordinating what they said was the biggest such operation they had ever known expressed anger later over what they said was the anglers' stupidity.
The ice floe had broken off from an area of the island of Sakhalin, where the anglers - despite warnings of a thaw - had gone to pursue what is a favourite Russian sport.
When help arrived, many of them simply continued fishing until it was their turn to be taken from the ice - and hurled abuse at rescuers for not letting them take ice drills and other equipment with them.