South Korean ship ablaze off Russia’s Chukotka, one dead

A South Korean bulk carrier, the Oriental Angel, caught fire off Russia’s Far Eastern coast early on Thursday, a regional rescue official said.

The vessel reported fire while off the Russian Far Eastern Chukotka Autonomous District at 4:40 local time [16:40 GMT Wednesday]. Its crew did not issue the distress signal.

“Flour caught fire in the ship’s holds while the vessel was in the Bering Sea, near the Beringovsky urban-type settlement,” the source said.

A total of 89 crew members left the vessel on rafts and were rescued by other ships in the area. The chief mate died while trying to put out the fire.

The Oriental Angel is currently anchored near the Cape Navarin. The ship is still on fire and stormy weather seriously hampers firefighting efforts.

In a separate incident, two vessels have responded to a signal from a Hong Kong-registered ship’s distress radiobeacon off Russia’s largest island of Sakhalin. The ships have so far been unable to establish contact with the Hong Kong vessel.

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