Russia Calls Off Search for Missing Sailors in Sea of Japan

MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russian rescuers have stopped actively searching for sailors missing from the trawler Chance 101, which capsized recently in the Sea of Japan, the Transport Ministry said on Thursday.

“Considering the low temperatures and the loss of any reasonable hope for finding the missing Chance 101 crew members alive, the active phase of the rescue operation has been folded,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ship was carrying 30 crew, including 19 Russians and 11 Indonesians, before it was discovered capsized off the coast of Russia’s Primorye Territory on Sunday.

Fifteen sailors, 11 Russians and four Indonesians, were found alive aboard two lifeboats, while another 15 crewmembers, eight Russians and seven Indonesians, are still missing and presumed dead.

Fourteen survivors are being treated for hypothermia at two local hospitals. The ship’s captain, who was among the survivors, died while being transported to a nearby port.

The four-day rescue effort involved four trawlers, a tanker and a rescue ship, as well as aircraft and shore rescue parties. The search covered 21,000 square miles (55,000 sq km) in the southern part of the Tatar Strait and along the shore of the Primorye and Khabarovsk territories.

“The site of the accident and adjacent sea and shore areas have been thoroughly searched in good weather conditions,” the ministry said.

The rescue ship Atlas remains at the site, attempting to tow the capsized ship to shallow waters near the shore.

A criminal investigation has been opened which could lead to charges of maritime safety violations resulting in the death of two or more persons, Russia’s Investigative Committee said earlier.


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