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Rescue ships come to refloat South Korean trawler

July 23, 2012, 4:56 UTC+3
The South Korean trawler was cast ashore, after the fire broke out onboard the vessel on November 16, 2011
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VLADIVOSTOK, July 23 (Itar-Tass) —— The whole caravan of ships, which are to get afloat the South Korean trawler Oriental Angel that was cast ashore off the Chukotka Cape Military Topographers, arrived in the area, where the trawler is in distress. The caravan of ships includes the sea rescue ship Rubin, the passenger motor boat Gipanis (both ships are registered at the Sakhalin port Korsakov), the tugboats Naporisty (Vladivostok) and Ussuri (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky) and the South Korean platform barge Haekwang B-1(Pusan).

The rescue task force is developing the plan to discharge the oil products and fish from the trawler in distress on Monday, head of the emergency situation department in the Chukotka Autonomous Area Lyubomir Mukha said. The South Korean trawler is carrying 166,000 tonnes of diesel fuel and 924 tonnes of fuel oil in its tanks, as well as 1,689 tonnes of frozen Alaska pollack in its holds. Fish will be reloaded in the water-resistant bags for one tonne of fish each.

The flagship of the rescue expedition is a high powered sea tugboat Rubin with a water displacement of 1,627 tonnes belonging to the Sakhalin maritime rescue directorate. Deputy head of the directorate Viktor Shamin heads the headquarters of the rescue expedition onboard the tugboat Rubin. The tugboat Rubin is also carrying six South Korean specialists, who were dispatched on a mission from Pusan as members of the rescue task force. The team of dockside workers, whom the passenger motor boat Gipanis is carrying, will unload the trawler Oriental Angel. The operation continues to put the platform barge next to the trawler on the Cape Military Topographers.

The South Korean trawler was cast ashore, after the fire broke out onboard the vessel on November 16, 2011. The trawler was sailing in the Bering Sea not far from the Chukotka settlement Beringovsky. The chief mate died in the fire, other 89 crewmen and a Russian observer were saved by Russian and Korean trawlers. The burning and out-of-control trawler Oriental Angel has been drifting in the Bering Sea for three days and eventually was cast on the rocks of the Cape Military Topographers on November 20. The whole superstructure burnt down onboard the trawler. The hold and the engine room were fully flooded with water mixed with the fuel oil. Shamin-led rescue task force found this fact in the examination of the trawler. The specialists found a real threat for oil leaking in the Bering Sea. The Russian nature management watchdog estimated that the damages may exceed 4.6 billion roubles.

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