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VLADIVOSTOK, November 19 (Itar-Tass) — The loading of the gold-bearing ore on the Amurskaya dry-cargo ship that sank in the Sea of Okhotsk on October 28 was carried out by the drying (high tide-low tide) method, which could have caused the vessel’s body deformation, the Far Eastern Transport Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) that is conducting the investigation of the shipwreck criminal case reported on Monday.
SK department spokesperson Natalya Salkina said that searches have been conducted in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur on ships that were used during navigation by the Amurskaya owner - Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Seaport, and on the crane, which was used to load the ore on the Feklistova Island. The ship documentation was seized.
In addition, the loading area near the Kiran settlement of the Khabarovsk Territory where the ore was loaded on the Amurskaya freighter was also examined. Ore samples have been taken for analysis.
“At the moment the investigation has obtained information that the ore loading on the freighter was carried out by the drying (high tide-low tide) method, which could have caused, in the view of the investigation, the vessel’s body deformation,” the Far Eastern Transport Investigation Department emphasised.
The criminal case investigation continues.
The Amurskaya dry-cargo ship, with an overload exceeding 100 tonnes, took to the open sea from here – Kiran sea terminal on October 28. Experts believe that the bulk cargo - gold-bearing ore, could be displaced because the ship was rolling baldy in the storm conditions, which led to her instant capsizing and sinking. The crew just had no time to transmit a distress signal. The signal was transmitted by the Amurskaya radio beacon – it sent it in an automatic mode when it got into the water.
The search for the freighter and the crew has been conducted for over 20 days. Aviators of the RF Emergency Situations Ministry have helped to find the location of the wrecked cargo ship. Divers have found a sailor’s body in one of the cabins of the vessel that is at a depth of 25 metres on the seabed. The body has not been identified yet. The fate of the ship’s other eight crewmembers is still unknown.