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It has not been established to which vessel life raft found on beach of Belichy Island belongs

November 21, 2012, 13:11 UTC+3

Rubin rescue vessel continues Amurskaya freighter crew search

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KHABAROVSK, November 21 (Itar-Tass) — The Rubin ship on Wednesday took on board a life raft, found on a beach of the Belichy Island during the search for the missing crew of the sunken Amurskaya dry-cargo ship, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry’s (EMERCOM) main department for the Khabarovsk Territory told Itar-Tass. However, “it has not been established to which vessel the life raft belongs.”

The crew of the Mi-8 helicopter of the Vostok company with rescuers and guides on board that has flown to the Belichy Island on Wednesday, because of the bad weather conditions had to stop the flight over the island and return to Nikolayevsk-on-Amur. “The rocky island has no site that would be suitable for helicopter landing,” acting head of the Department of Civil Defence of the Khabarovsk Territory government Yevgeny Kuzmin told Itar-Tass.

On Tuesday, search parties and rescuers of the EMERCOM on the Mi-8 helicopter of the Vostok airline additionally examined three search zones: the vicinity of the Torom settlement in the Tuguro-Chumikansky district of the Khabarovsk Territory, the Birandzha uninhabited village and Cape Tylsky. Unfortunately, no traces of the missing sailors from the cargo ship have been found.

The crew of the Rubin rescue ship continues to examine the island. Ground search parties are examining the coastal zone on the mainland.

According to the EMERCOM Far Eastern centre, “since the beginning of the search operation aircraft have examined an area of ··over 30 square kilometres, and marine vessels - 678 square kilometres of the sea area, ground search parties - 350 kilometres of coastline.”

The search for the crewmembers of the Amurskaya freighter has been underway for 25 days. Divers have retrieved the body of one sailor from the sunken ship. The fate of eight other crewmembers remains unknown.

The leadership of the Far Eastern Transport Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) will hold a meeting on November 22 with the relatives of the crewmembers of the dry-cargo ship. It will be held at the Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Transport Prosecutor’s Office, the regional Transport Investigation Department told Itar-Tass.

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