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Vessel with six bodies of Kolskaya rig crewmembers arrives in port

December 24, 2011, 4:56 UTC+3

Eleven bodies were carried by the Smith Sakhalin vessel to Korsakov on December 22. Thirty six people remain missing

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VLADIVOSTOK, December 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The rescue vessel Atlas with the bodies of six crewmembers from the Kolskaya drilling rig arrived in the Sakhalin port of Korsakov on Saturday morning, the Sakhalin sea rescue department said.

The official identification of the victims will take place in Korsakov. The six bodies are the last found in the search operation at the sunken rig site in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Sixty seven people were aboard the Kolskaya rig. On December 18, the platform, when it was towed from Kamchatka to Sakhalin, capsized and sank 200 km off the Sakhalin coast. Fourteen people were rescued the same day. Seventeen dead bodies were found on the sea surface during the next few days. Thirty six people remain missing.

All the survivors are on Sakhalin. Eleven bodies were carried by the Smith Sakhalin vessel to Korsakov on December 22.

The active search for the missing people is discontinued as the hope to rescue them is lost and a deep cyclone is approaching, said the Russian Transport Ministry's sea and river transport agency (Rosmorrechflot).

The decision to stop the active phase of the search was taken by the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk sea rescue coordination centre. It noted the decision was taken not to expose the crews of the rescue vessels to danger. At the same time, the search is continued by passing ships. All the fleet in the Sea of Okhotsk is informed about the sunken rig.

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