PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, May 12 (Itar-Tass) — The operation to search for and identify the research ship Ametist that disappeared in February 2011 has been completed in the Sea of ··Okhotsk. The vessel has been identified by the size and name, the press service of the Kamchatka Research Institute of Fishery and Oceanography told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
The Panther Plus deepwater submersible on May 11 confirmed the supposition that the object spotted in the Shelikhov Gulf off the coast of Kamchatka at a depth of 275 metres 11 kilometres from the last known anchoring of the Ametist last June is precisely this ship.
The found ship is staying on the seabed on an even keel. A crab trap mainline is wound around the ship’s propeller-rudder system. There are tangled crab traps and “wreckage of the vessel’s deck items” around the ship’s body. The submersible with a video camera recorded the name of the wrecked ship on her portside.
Communication with the Ametist vessel was lost on February 10, 2011. On February 11, the data about her position were received for the last time. A full-scale search and rescue operation was launched the next day. During the search operation an area of ··80 thousand square miles was examined. The rescuers have found only two life rafts and eight fishing buoys from the missing vessel.
There were 23 crewmembers on the Ametist. The trawler did not transmit distress signals. The emergency radio buoy on board the ship was also not activated. It was assumed that the vessel capsized and sank.