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KHABAROVSK, October 31 (Itar-Tass) — Eighty-three persons and 11 units of equipment are involved in the search for the Amurskaya bulk carrier that went missing on Sunday, the Emergency Situations Ministry’s' department for the Khabarovsk territory told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
The Novik tanker is surveying the sea area, and there are two search parties on the shore. Poor weather conditions prevent the assistance of aircraft, but the weather is gradually improving.
On Thursday, an amphibious Be-200 plane equipped with a radar is expected to join the search. A Mi-8 helicopter belonging to the Khabarovsk Airlines company will assist as well.
The regional office of the Polimetall mining company confirmed to Itar-Tass that the Amurskaya had carried a load of gold ore from the Avlayakan and Kirankan fields for processing at the Khakandzhinsky factory.
The company representatives did not specify the amount of the gold ore in transit.
The ship-owner - the Nikolayevsky-on-Amur Sea Port neither confirmed nor denied the fact that the vessel might have carried a possible overload of 100 tones.
"All the documents are being checked," the company underlined.
However, experts believe that it was overloading of the ship with the weight-carrying capacity of some 600 tons that caused shipwreck in storm.
After the vessel left the port of Kiran in the Tuguro-Chumikansky district, Khabarovsk territory, rescue services reported a distress signal from its emergency beacon. A vessel and a Be-200 plane urgently dispatched to the area failed to find the bulker after scanning 4,000 square kilometers.
There is still a weak hope that the vessel hid from the storm in a bay and is unable to report its whereabouts because of faulty communications equipment.
It had a crew of 9 aboard. Five of the seamen are residents of the Primorye Territory. Captain Vladimir Kucherov is 58 and his first mate is Oleg Fedotov is 33. Reports said the crew was comprised of experienced sailors.