No sign of missing sailors from South Korea boat lost in Arctic | News | DW | 02.12.2014
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No sign of missing sailors from South Korea boat lost in Arctic

Hope is fading in the search for 52 fishermen, missing after their South Korean boat sunk in freezing Arctic waters off Russia. The boat went down in stormy weather.

The South Korean fishing vessel sank early on Monday in the Bering Sea off Russia's eastern Chukotka region. At least 52 people on board are missing, after Russian rescuers saved eight - one of whom died of hypothermia.

Overnight searches have failed to find any sign of those missing. The efforts are being hamered by bad weather and sea conditions, and a shrinking daylight period.

Most of the missing crew were South Korean, but there were also Indonesian and Philippine nationals on board, as well as one Russian inspector.

News agency AFP quoted a Russian official as saying four empty lifeboats were recovered.

"Four torn lifeboats were found," said Oleg Karev of the marine rescue center in the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

The 1,753-tonne Oryong 501 trawler (pictured above) is believed to be 36 years old. It was operated by South Korea's Sajo Industries, a fishing company. Four ships, including two associated with Sajo, have been combing the site, a company spokesman said.

Russia allows South Korean fishermen to fish in its waters for Pollock and other fish.

The incident comes less than eight months after the deadly sinking of the Sewol ferry off South Korea's southwestern coast, in which more than 300 passengers died, most of which were schoolchildren.

jr/ksb (dpa, AFP)