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VLADIVOSTOK, September 15 (Itar-Tass) — Efforts to find seven tourists who were reported missing during their rafting along the Bikin river in the north of Primorsky (maritime) Territory have been to no avail so far, an official in the press service of the regional center of the Russian Ministry for Emergencies (RME) has told Itar-Tass.
The search is being conducted by specialists of the Vladivostok-based search-and-rescue party who have at their disposl a boat and a catamaran for them to retrace the route covered by those missing.
The seven tourists from Nakhodka set out on their way on Aug 19. They began rafting along the Bikin river on Aug 22 on two life-rafts and one rubber boat. Their plan was to reach Soboliny (sable) settlement in Pozharsky District on Sept 9-10 at the latest. According to rescuers' data, there were no instructor in the tourist group which included several elderly people. Neither did they register with the rescue services or local administrations.
The relatives who became worried by their absence applied to local authorities at first. For three days, search operations were conducted by the District administration staff members and District police personnel. The search yielded no results. RME personnel joined in the search operations on Sept 13.