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Search for sunken boat in La Perouse Strait stopped because of storm

December 27, 2011, 4:44 UTC+3

The boat’s crew consisted of eight sailors, including five Russian and three Indonesians

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VLADIVOSTOK, December 27 (Itar-Tass) —— A storm in the La Perouse Strait between the Russian Island of Sakhalin and Japan’s Hokkaido Island has forced rescuers to stop a search operation for The Ginga fishing boat (flying the flag of Cambodia) that sank here on December 25.

The boat’s crew consisted of eight sailors, including five Russian and three Indonesians. Russian and Japanese ships that took part in the search operation found the dead bodies of three crew members. Five are still reported missing. Now the search for the missing sailors will be continued by ships passing via the La Perouse Strait, a spokesman for the Far Eastern regional emergencies centre said on Tuesday.

On the first day of the search operation, the Japanese patrol boat lifted two dead bodies in special water suits. The Japanese side identified them as Russian citizens -- a senior mechanic and a sailor. The Russian trawler Zaliv Vasilyeva lifted from the water one dead sailor in the water suit with the inscription Izumrudny. Later the three dead bodies were brought to the Atlas rescue ship that called at the port of Korsakov early on Tuesday, where official identification procedures will done.

The Ginga fishing boat was under repairs in the port of Nevelsk, Sakhalin from February to August 2011. Later she put to the sea and was never seen near the Sakhalin coast ever since. The ship was en route from the Japanese port Wakkanai, Hokkaido Island, when in the early morning on December 25, Sakhalin time the emergency radio beacon set off onboard the Ginga. The ship was in distress on the border of the zones of responsibility of Russia and Japan in the vicinity of the Stone of Danger rock, which is situated 14 kilometres southeast of the Krilion Cape, the southernmost end of Sakhalin. The Stone of Danger rock is eight metres high above the sea level and hampers strongly the navigation across the La Perouse Strait. The lighthouse was built on the rock in 1913.

Earlier, in November, the Ginga was detained by Russian coastal guards for poaching in Russian economic zone.

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