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Russian fleet hands over bodies of 14 fishermen from sunken South Korean trawler

December 07, 2014, 5:23 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
So far, 26 people are still missing
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© AP Photo/Peggy Fagerstrom

VLADIVOSTOK, December 7. /TASS/. The bodies of fourteen crew members from South Korea's trawler Oryong-501, which sank off the Pacific coast of Russia on December 1, have been handed over by the Russian fleet to South Korea's Oyang-96 ship, authorities in Russia's far eastern port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky said on Sunday.

Rescuers had managed to pull the bodies of 29 crew members from the water after the 1,753-ton trawler Oryong-501 sank in the Bering Sea off the coast of Russia’s far eastern Chukotka region, officials said. Other fishing boats rushed to the scene, but strong winds and rough seas on Sunday hampered the operation to transport the remaining bodies to the Oyang-96 vessel, they said.

The wind speed in the area now reaches 19-20 metres per second, waves are 4-5 meters high, and air temperatures stand at minus 8 degrees Celsius. Four South Korean vessels as well as two coastguard ships from the United States continue search for survivors.

According to a source in the maritime rescue service at the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky port, six people rescued after the shipwreck and taken aboard Russia’s trawlers Karolina-77 and Zaliv Zabiyaka were staying on those two vessels until weather conditions improved. A Russian fisheries inspector, who had been saved, also remained aboard the Karolina-77.

The 60-strong crew was comprised of 35 Indonesians, 13 Filipinos, 11 South Koreans and one Russian inspector. So far, 26 people are still missing.

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