At Least 54 Dead as Russian Fishing Vessel Sinks

The massive trawler Dalny Vostok, with an international crew of 132, sank in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Arutz Sheva,

Search after shipwreck (file).
Search after shipwreck (file).

A Russian trawler sank in icy waters off Russia's Far Eastern coast early on Thursday, killing at least 54 crew members.

Emergency services in Kamchatka, citing the head of the rescue operation, said 63 crew members were rescued and the fate of the remaining 15 was unknown. Fifty-four bodies were also recovered.

About ten survivors are in serious condition, according to Interfax.

Of the 132 people on board the Dalny Vostok, 78 were Russians, and the 54 others were foreign nationals. mostly from Myanmar, and also from Ukraine, Lithuania and Vanuatu, according to the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry. 

The crews of 26 fishing vessels are searching for the 15 people still thought to be missing.

Some 1,300 people were involved in the rescue operation, emergency services said.

The most likely cause of the shipwreck was collision with an obstacle which damaged the hull, the official spokesman of Russia's Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, is quoted as saying.

The ship sank at about 4 A.M. local time in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Kamchatka Peninsula. It did not send distress signals prior to the sinking, the Interfax news agency said.

The tragedy is the worst of the maritime accidents that ttok place in the Russian Far East in recent years, according to Interfax.

In December 2011, the Kolskaya rig sank in a storm while being towed across the Sea of Okhotsk with 67 people onboard. Fourteen were rescued, and 53 died. Only 14 bodies were found.

The Ametist trawler went missing with a crew of 23 in 2011. Neither the vessel nor wreckage was found.

The Chance-101 ship sank on January 26, 2013, in the Sea of Japan, not far from the town of Svetloye, off the Primorsky territory. Fifteen out of 30 crew members died in the wreck.

The South Korean fishing trawler Oryong-501 sank 117 miles off the Chukchi autonomous region in December 2014. It had 60 people on board, citizens of South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines and a Russian fisheries inspector. Only 7 persons, among them the Russian, were rescued.