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KHABAROVSK, January 4 (Itar-Tass) — All the 19 crewmembers of the transport refrigerator Irina, which was holed in the area of the Kuril island of Kunashir, have been rescued. The seamen were taken on board by another transport refrgerator, the Tatarstan, an offical at the Far Eastern regional center of the Russian Ministry for Emergencies (RME) has told Itar-Tass.
The Irina with 500 tonnes of frozen fish on board remains afloat so far. The refrigerator's future is under consideration. The rescue boat Atlas is expected to arrive at the distress area on Thursday, the RME official pointed out.
The transport refrigerator Irina is a large vessel, 92 metres long, with a deadweight of 5,800 tonnes. The ship belongs to the Brig Star Shipping Company and is registered at the port of Vladivostok.
The refrigerated cargo ship issued a distress signal on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday when the ship was 13 miles off Kunashir. An emergency situation developed when the ship was casting anchor near that island, the Sakhalin fishing fleet monitoring service reported.
The ship's engine room has been flooded, the main engine stalled, and the steering gear malfunctioning.