At least 54 people died after Russian trawler sinks in Okhotsk Sea

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Overpressure of the ice on the ship hull causing its deformation is considered the main version of the accident

The number of the crew members of the Large autonomous freezer trawler "Dalny Vostok" ("Far East"), who died in the wreck off of the coast of Kamchatka in the Sea of Okhotsk, increased up to 54.

"Fishing ships participating in the rescue operation picked up 54 bodies, 63 people are rescued," said the chief of the maritime rescue coordination сenter "Administration of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky seaport" Artur Rets to the agency "Interfax - Far East" on Thursday.

He noted that another 15 people are being searched for.

The local representative of the Russian Ministry of Emergency said that all the rescued crew members suffered greatly.

"All the sailors stayed quite long in the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk, the temperature of which doesn`t exceed 0° C. They got supercooled. One person is in a very critical condition," the spokesperson said to the agency.

As it was reported, Mi-8 of the Russian Ministry of Emergency with three rescuers and a doctor aboard flew to the wreck. The rescuers will have to look for the lost sailors from the air and evacuate the saved ones to the hospitals in Magadan. The Kamchatka Regional Hospital is also ready to admit the victims.

The trawler "Dalny Vostok", registered in the Sakhalin port of Nevelsk, sank in the Sea of Okhotsk 300 km south of Magadan overnight into Thursday. The ship didn`t signal SOS. According to the crew list, there were 130 people on board the trawler, 76 of which were the citizens of Russia, 42 - of Burma, 3 - of Latvia, 4 – of Ukraine, 5 – of Vanuatu. The rescue operation is carried out by 26 ships operating in the area.

The Investigation Department has opened a criminal case over the wreck of the trawler "Dalny Vostok" in the Sea of Okhotsk into the alleged "violation of safety rules, and the operation of water transport resulting in the death of two or more people."

The main reasons for the accident may be overpressure of the ice against the ship hull resulting in deformation, but violation of safety instructions by the crew isn`t excluded.

Text and pictures by INTERFAX.RU