Sakhalin fishing boat in distress in Tatar Strait

The Sakhalin fishing ship Vankaren is in distress in the Tatar Strait (which separates the island of Sakhalin from the mainland - Russia's Far East), the master of the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk sea rescue coordination centre, told RIA Novosti.

The SOS signal was received on Wednesday, he said.

The vessel, during a heavy storm in the strait with a wind speed of 25 metres a second and a wave height of 5 to 6 metres, got de-energised and lost headway.

The Vankaren is 50 miles from the Sakhalin port of Kholmsk.

Three fishing trawlers at once hurried to her rescue. The closest is the Kapitan Bolsunovsky, whose crew are already preparing cable to tow the disabled vessel. Other ships rushing to the Vankaren include the Seawind-1 and the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk sent by the captain of the Nevelskoi fishing port. All the trawlers taking part in the rescue are registered in Sakhalin ports.

A crew of 20 is aboard the Vankaren.

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