2 Apr 2015

Russian trawler sinks with 54 dead

5:06 pm on 2 April 2015

A Russian trawler has sunk off the Kamchatka peninsula, with 54 sailors so far confirmed dead.

Kamchatka peninsula

Kamchatka peninsula Photo: AFP

Sixty-three people have been rescued, many suffering from hypothermia, according to a maritime rescue centre in Russia's Far East.

The Dalniy Vostok freezer trawler had 132 people on board when it sank.

Seventy-eight of the crew are Russian, with the remainder coming from countries including Latvia, Ukraine, Myanmar and Vanuatu.

The Dalniy Vostok went down in the Sea of Okhotsk, 330km west of Krutogorovsky settlement.

Drifting ice may have holed the vessel, according to Russian emergency services.

Water flooded the engine compartment and the trawler then sank within 15 minutes, a local branch of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said.

Some two dozen ships are involved in searching for remaining survivors in freezing waters around zero degrees Celsius.

- BBC -