Japanese trawler sinks off Chukotka, dozens missing, 12 dead, 7 rescued


In the Bering Sea, off the coast of Chukotka, rescuers continue the operation to search for the sailors who went missing in the crash of a South Korean fishing trawler Oryong 501. An American aircraft and five fishing boats are involved in the operation.

Pilots saw the body of a sailor in a lifejacket on the water surface as they were flying above the site of the tragedy on Tuesday. Efforts were then taken to recover the body from the water onto the Russian fishing vessel Vladimir Bradyuk, but to no avail. The may never be found, Interfax reports.

Afterwards, eleven other bodies were found.  "Eleven bodies have been found. Four of the dead are citizens of South Korea, one is a Filipino, and the rest are Indonesians. All of the found bodies were raised on board the Russian ships that take part in the operation," officials said.

The number of fishermen, who were officially confirmed dead has thus risen to 12. Another man died of hypothermia on 1 December. Seven were rescued, including a Russian inspector. In total, there were 60 people on board the sunken ship.

"In the area of search operation on Wednesday left four South Korean vessel, wait out a storm off Cape Navarin. Arrived at the site and join the quest they have to Thursday morning. On Thursday scheduled for departure in the search area of the aircraft of FSB of Russia", - said Arthur Retz, adding that the search operation on Wednesday suspended and will resume the search at dawn Thursday.

A US Coast Guard aircraft and five Russian ships take part in the operation.

Trawler Oryong 501 sank in the Bering Sea 117 miles off the coast of Chukotka in the evening on Monday, December 1st. The ship sank in about 30 minutes, the crew had no time to send a signal of distress. An emergency buoy became the source of information about the tratgedy. On board the ship, there were 60 people, including a Russian inspector. The condition of seven survivors is said to be satisfactory.

The trawler was built in 1964 in Japan.


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