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VLADIVOSTOK, November 8 (Itar-Tass) — The Rubin rescue vessel on Thursday has started examining the coast of the Shantar Islands, hoping to find traces of the crew of the sunken Amurskaya dry-cargo freighter in the Sea of ·· Okhotsk. The Sakhalinneft tug is also present in the search area. Several ground search parties are exploring the coastline of the Khabarovsk Territory, the press service of the Far Eastern regional Centre of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) reported.
Two Mi-8 helicopters on Thursday flew from Khabarovsk for the reinforcement of the search and rescue team - they are to deliver to the Rubin ship nine EMERCOM divers. The divers’ team has the task to penetrate inside the sunken cargo ship to see if there are dead people there. On Wednesday, three divers from the Rubin descended to the Amurskaya freighter when visibility was 5.5 metres. They found no people on the ship’s bridge.
The EMERCOM divers carry with them welding equipment that will be used to cut holes in the Amurskaya body, if this is needed to get inside the vessel. Helicopters with EMERCOM experts will first land in the Polina Osipenko settlement for refuelling, and then depending on the weather the issue of the divers’ boarding the Rubin ship will be decided.
This vessel is in the fleet of the Sakhalin Basin Emergency and Rescue Administration. Captain of the Rubin has transmitted to the emergency department management information that the wind force in the search area is 12-14 metres per second and there are sleet showers.
The Amurskaya ship during her last voyage was to deliver to the port of Okhotsk gold-bearing ore. According to investigators, there were 700-750 tonnes of cargo on the ship, although the vessel’s maximum capacity was 611 tonnes. Experts believe that the ore cargo was displaced in rolling, and the vessel swiftly capsized as a result in high seas.
Over the past few days, more than 20 thousand square kilometres of the Sea of ··Okhotsk in the area of the Shantar Islands have been examined by aircraft and ships, and ground search parties examined more than 160 kilometres of the coast of the Khabarovsk Territory. They so far have found no traces of the Amurskaya vessel’s nine crewmembers.