Death toll from S. Korean trawler sinking in Bering Sea reaches 27

Search teams have pulled out the dead bodies of another seven crewmembers from South Korea's trawler Oryong 501, which sank off the Chukotka peninsula in the Bering Sea on December 1, Artur Rets, director of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Sea Port's rescue center, told Interfax.

Search teams have pulled out the dead bodies of another seven crewmembers from South Korea's trawler Oryong 501, which sank off the Chukotka peninsula in the Bering Sea on December 1, Artur Rets, director of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Sea Port's rescue center, told Interfax.

"Only two of the seven bodies found on Friday have not yet been identified. The death toll from this tragedy has already reached 27. The dead bodies of 26 people were found during the search operation, and one fisherman died from overexposure to the cold on Monday," Rets said.

The search operation has now been suspended and will be resumed on Saturday morning, he added.

"Korean vessels will be actively involved in the search operation. Six Russian vessels, which are currently fishing in this area, will help them. On Friday, one of the dead bodies was spotted by the crew of the Russian vessel Vladimir Bradyuk," Rets said.

There are almost no currents in this area of the Bering Sea where the Oryong 501 sank, he said.

"Probably, the missing bodies will be found within a range of 20 nautical miles from the site of the ship's sinking," he said.

The sea is now calming down in this area, winds are blowing at a speed of 12 meters per second, waves are no more than three meters high, and air temperatures stand at -2 degrees Celsius, Rets said.

"This relatively calm weather is expected to continue in the district of the search operation on Saturday. A cyclone will return there on Sunday," Rets said.

The South Korean fishing trawler Oryong-501 sank off the Chukotka peninsula coast in the Bering Sea at 5:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. Moscow time) on Monday. There were 60 crewmembers on board, including citizens of South Korea (commanders), Indonesia and the Philippines (mostly fish processing personnel) and a Russian fishing inspector. Seven crewmembers, including the Russian inspector, were rescued.

Read more: Another 11 sailors from sunken South Korean trawler found dead offshore Chukotka>>>

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