Tags: russian | trawler | sinks | pacific

54 Die, 63 Rescued, 15 Missing as Russian Trawler Sinks in Pacific

Image: 54 Die, 63 Rescued, 15 Missing as Russian Trawler Sinks in Pacific
A rescue vessel is seen after a trawler sank in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Kamchatka Peninsula, April 2, 2015. (Russia's Emergency Ministry/Xinhua/Landov)  

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 08:49 AM

A Russian fishing trawler sank in freezing Pacific Ocean waters near the Kamchatka Peninsula on Wednesday evening, killing at least 54 of the 132-person crew. Another 15 were still unaccounted for on Thursday morning.

The Russian Interfax news agency quoted an unidentified source at the region's rescue center as sayinga large amount of drifting ice could have damaged the ship which sank within 15 minutes, according to the Moscow Times.

The Russian Emergencies Ministries said the ship's engine compartment was flooded with water just before it sank and the ship was never able to send out a distress call, according to the BBC News.

"The rescue operation is going on, we are still looking for 15 people," said Viktor Klepikov, coordinating captain of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky maritime rescue coordination center. "At this time we do not know what might have caused the tragedy."

Klepikov told the Times that 63 of the 132 people on board the trawler, the Dalny Vostok, were rescued from the sea with the temperature hovering at 32 degrees. The crew included 78 Russian nationals and 54 shipmates from Myanmar, Ukraine, Lithuania and Vanuatu.

An Mi-8 helicopter reportedly rescued crew members and took them to hospitals in the city of Magadan, according to USA Today. More than 24 fishing boats responded to the area to help in rescue efforts and 54 bodies were recovered.

The captain of one of the ships responding to the rescue efforts reported poor weather conditions with snow, wind and waves as high as 10 feet in the area, noted BBC News.

The The Russian Emergencies Ministry said it has established a telephone hotline for families to receive information about loved ones who may have been on the ship.

The Russian news agency TASS reported that government officials have started a criminal investigation on possible safety rules violations and water transport rules connected with the incident.

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A Russian fishing trawler sank in freezing Pacific Ocean waters near the Kamchatka Peninsula on Wednesday evening, killing at least 54 of the 132-person crew. Another 15 were still unaccounted for Thursday morning.
russian, trawler, sinks, pacific
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2015-49-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 08:49 AM
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