50+ sailors missing day after boat sinks in Arctic

2014-12-02 11:33

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Seoul - Overnight searches failed to find more than 50 sailors missing the day after a South Korean fishing trawler sank in Arctic waters off eastern Russia, a Seoul official said on Tuesday.

Rescuers were still searching the area for the victims in waters of around zero degrees Celsius, a foreign ministry official said.

The boat sank on Monday in the Bering Sea off Russia's easternmost Chukotka region.

Two Russian vessels on Monday rescued eight people from the Oryong-501, one of whom died of hypothermia, Russia's Interfax news agency reported. It quoted Artur Rets, an official in the Russian port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, who put the number of missing at 54.

Rescue efforts were hampered by storm weather waves up to six metres.

The boat started transmitting an automatic alarm at 05:15 GMT on Monday, Interfax said. The crew did not issue a distress signal.

Rets suggested that the vessel sank very quickly after water entered its hull when the trawling net was hauled in.

Most of the crew members were South Korean, but there were also Indonesian and Philippine nationals on board, Rets said.

Read more on:    south korea  |  seoul

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