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8 feared dead after Russian boat sinks

28 January 2013, 12:31

Moscow - At least eight people were feared dead and seven more were missing after a fishing vessel carrying a Russian and Indonesian crew sank in freezing waters off Russia's Far East, investigators said on Monday.

Regional transport investigators said survivors had already told them that eight fellow sailors had frozen to death in the life raft and their bodies were thrown overboard to limit the ballast.

The crew of 30 on board the Russian fishing vessel Chance 101 - 19 Russians and 11 Indonesians - fled in life rafts after the ship was hit by a massive wave during a manoeuvre in the Sea of Japan around 50km out to sea.

"Eighteen people were on one life raft and eight of them died of hypothermia. The bodies of the dead were thrown over the side of the raft," said Natalya Salkina, a spokesperson for regional transport investigators quoted by Russian news agencies.

She said the information had come from the survivors themselves.

Their life raft with 10 survivors was eventually picked up by a Russian cargo ship and taken to the Pacific island of Sakhalin.

Five survivors on another life raft were rescued by a trawler and are being taken to the mainland in the Russian Far East.

The emergencies ministry said that searches were under way for the remaining seven crew but these would now be adjourned for the night.



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