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Missing Amurskaya freighter found on Sea of Okhotsk bottom

November 07, 2012, 9:50 UTC+3

Missing Amurskaya freighter found on Sea of Okhotsk bottom

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VLADIVOSTOK, November 7 (Itar-Tass) — The sunken Amurskaya dry-cargo ship has been found on the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk in the area of the Shantar Islands, the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk maritime rescue-coordination sub-centre that got information from the Rubin rescue vessel from the incident area, reported.

On Wednesday, divers examined the “unknown object” that was spotted by the echo sounder on November 4. “The divers have confirmed that the “unknown object” lying at a depth of 25 metres is the Amurskaya dry-cargo ship,” specialists of the sub-centre told Itar-Tass.

The Amurskaya vessel on October 28 left the Kiran sea terminal in the Tuguro-Chumikansky district of the Khabarovsk Territory with a crew of nine members. According to investigators, the ship was carrying 700-750 tonnes of gold-bearing ore, although its maximum capacity was 611 tonnes. Experts believe that the cargo could be displaced because the ship was rolling baldy in the storm conditions, which led to her instant capsizing and sinking. The Amurskaya radio beacon transmitted a distress signal.

The motor ship is registered at the port of Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, the vessel was built in 1973.

Director General of the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Seaport Alexander Shiltsin has been charged with violation of the rules of safety of navigation and operation of maritime transport, resulting in the death of two or more persons. “He knew for certain that the loading of raw materials on the dry-cargo ship was carried out in violation of the rules of transportation of dangerous cargoes,” and that “because of the bad weather conditions the ship cannot sail,” but the head of the port “personally gave instructions to the ship’s crew to sail in the Sea of Okhotsk,” the regional Investigation Department said.

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