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October 30 (Itar-Tass) — Rescuers looking for the bulk carrier Amursky with nine crew and a load of gold ore that went missing in the Sea of Okhotsk on Sunday have expanded the search are to 4,000 square kilometers off the Shantar Islands, the department of the Emergency Situations Ministry for the Khabarovsk Territory told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
A ground search party has surveyed some 30 kilometers of coastal strip.
Three vessels are taking part in the search. The rescue towboat Rubin earlier left the port of Korsakov on the island of Sakhalin for the Shantar Islands in the southwest section of the Sea of Okhotsk to join the search.
A Beriyev-200 amphibious jet of the Ministry for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense /EMERCOM/ and two helicopters are getting ready at an airbase in the Khabarovsk territory for a mission to the distress area. They will take off as soon as the weather starts improving. The gusts of wind reach 16 meters per second in the search area, with a heavy snowfall and low temperatures.
No traces of the missing dry cargo ship that was carrying 700 tons of gold-containing ore from the port township of Kiran in the Khabarovsk territory to the port of Okhotsk have been identified over the past two days.
According to the technical specifications of the Amurskaya, it has the weight-carrying capacity of 611 tons, which means it might be carrying an extra 89 tons of ore.
It had a crew of 9 aboard.