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Rescue boats heading for Chukotka to refloat SKorean trawler

July 11, 2012, 3:16 UTC+3

The stricken trawler has been holed in many places

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VLADIVOSTOK, July 11 (Itar-Tass) — A caravan of rescue boats set out from Petropopavlovsk-Kamchatsky on Wednesday, heading for the Chukotka Peninsula to refloat the South Korean trawler Oriental Angel.

The stricken trawler has been holed in many places. The holes are to be plugged. A large amount of frozen Alaska pollack, 166 tonnes of diesel fuel and 924 tonnes of fuel oil are to be discharged from the trawler. That done, the rescuers will try to refloat the trawler, bring it to clear water and then tow it to the South Korean port of Pusan, the press service of the administration of the Chukotka Autonomous Area reports.

The caravan of rescue vessels includes the tugboats Naporisty, Rubin,and Ussuri, the passenger ship Gipanis, the South Korean platform barge Haekwang B-1 with a carrying capacity of 3,000 tonnes. More than 100 people, among them six Korean specialists, are to take part in the operation. According to preliminary estimates, the caravan of ships is to reach its destination in the area of Cape Military Topographers sometime between July 18 and 20.

The trawler Oriental Angel was cast ashore near the Chukotka Peninsula after a fire had broken out on board on November 16, 2011. The ship was at the time in the Bering Sea not far from the Chukotka Beringovsky Settlement. Chief mate died aboard the trawler.The rest of the crew -- 89 members and one Russian observer -- were rescued by Russian and Korean fishing boats.

The burning and out-of-control trawler drifted about the Bering Sea for three days, after which it was cast by the waves onto rocks on November 20 at the Cape Military Topographers. The trawler fire gutted out the superstructure, whereas the holds and the engine room are flooded.


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