Eleven crewmembers of the South Korean fishing trawler Oriong-501, which sank offshore the Chukchi autonomous region in the Bering Sea, have been found dead.
"Eleven bodies have been found. Four victims are citizens of South Korea, one of the Philippines and the others of Indonesia. All the bodies were picked up by Russian vessels involved in the search-and-rescue operation," head of the maritime rescue sub-center of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky seaport administration Artur Rets told Interfax on Wednesday.
The confirmed death toll has reached twelve. In all, there were 60 people onboard the trawler. Seven have been rescued.
"Four South Korean vessels, which waited out the storm off Cape Navarin, reached the rescue operation area on Wednesday. They are due to join the search effort on Thursday morning. A plane of the Federal Security Service will fly to the wreck site on Thursday morning as well," Rets said.
In his words, the search was suspended until Thursday dawn.
A C-130 Hercules plane of the U.S. Coast Guard visited the search zone again on Wednesday. Four Russian fishing vessels - the medium-sized fishing trawler Karonina-77 whose captain has been appointed to supervise the search-and-rescue effort, the large refrigerator trawler Zaliv Zabiyaka, the super trawler Pelageal and the ship Vladimir Bradyuk - are searching the seas for the missing sailors.
A U.S. Coast Guard ship left for the rescue operation area and is expected to reach it on Friday.
The South Korean fishing trawler Oriong-501 sank off the coast of the Chukchi autonomous region in the Bering Sea at 5:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. Moscow time) on Monday. The crew did not send a distress signal. Reportedly, seawater flooded the ship after the crew had pulled in the trawl net.
There were 60 sailors onboard, citizens of South Korea (commanders), Indonesia and the Philippines (mostly fish processing personnel) and a Russian fishing inspector.
Five people (four Indonesian and a Russian inspector from Rybnadzor) were taken aboard the Karolina-77 ship. Another rescued person, thought to be a citizen of South Korea, died aboard the Karolina-77 from hypothermia. The Zaliv Zabiyaka rescued two sailors, citizens of Indonesia. Forty-one crewmembers are still missing.
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