VLADIVOSTOK, December 12 (Itar-Tass) — Three life jackets and life raft fragments from the sunken bulker Amurskaya have been found in the area of Shatar Islands. These were spotted by crewmembers' relatives who were conducting their own search in the area of the October 28 shipwreck.
Natalia Salakina, spokeswoman of the Far Eastern transport investigation department of the Investigation Committee of Russia, said Wednesday, "Investigators have received information from the crewmembers' relatives that they spotted three life jackets and fragments of a life raft. According to preliminary data, those life-saving means bear inscriptions that make it possible to determine that they belonged to the dry-cargo ship Amurskaya".
The bulker Amurskaya set out from the port point of Kiran, Turugo-Chumikan District of Khabarovsk Territory, on October 28. The ship with a deadweight of 611 tonnes was to deliver a cargo of gold-bearing ore -- 700-750 tonnes -- to the port of Okhotsk. However, later in the day, the dry-cargo ship was caught by a severe storm in the area of Shantar Islands. Specialists believe that displacement of the cargo occurred aboard the ship and it sank very quickly. The crew had no time to transmit any messages. The sinking ship's distress signal was later picked up from from an emergency rescue radio buoy which begins to emit signals when it gets into the water.
The search for the crew of the Amurskaya continued for almost a month. EMERCOM scuba divers found the body of a seaman in the rudder house of the ship that sank at a depth of 25 metres. The dead body was brought up to the surface and helicoptered to Nikolayevsk-on-Amur for identification.
Criminal proceedings were instituted in connection with the fact of shipwreck and an investigation is under way.