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Russian Fishing Vessel Goes Aground, Leaving Cargo of Crab for Locals

Fishing vessel under way in a bay
Ostrovnoy-5 (NPFC file image)

Published Dec 18, 2022 5:18 PM by The Maritime Executive

A fishing vessel has gone aground in foul weather off the Kamchatka Peninsula, leaving behind a Christmas present for local residents: bucketloads of crab. 

On Thursday afternoon, the fishing vessel Ostrovnoy-5 was at anchor off the coast of Paramushir, a remote island at the northeastern end of the Kuril chain. In foul weather, the vessel began to drag anchor. The captain attempted to reposition in order to avoid going aground, but the effort was not successful, and the ship grounded on her starboard side. 

In heavy snow, low visibility and strong winds, all 13 crewmembers managed to disembark into two life rafts. A second ship in the same fleet, the Ostrovnoy-12, responded to the scene and safely brought all of the survivors on board. The Ostrovnoy-12 then took refuge from the rough conditions in a bay between Paramushir and the island of Shumsu, in the Second Kuril Strait.

"We must pay tribute to the crew of Ostrovnoy-12, that in such difficult weather conditions, despite the risks, they were able to come up and pick up the sailors," said Alexander Ovsyannikov, mayor of Severo-Kurilsk, speaking to Interfax. 

The Ostrovnoy-5 was carrying a cargo of 15 tonnes of crab, and some of the catch appears to have been discharged over the side. Local residents from the settlement of Severo-Kurilsk visited the site to gather up the lost crab using sleighs and snowmobiles, and the photos these salvors provided to local media suggest an impressive haul for a holiday feast. 

"The crab is mostly still alive. They threw it ashore. People come up and take it freely," one resident told ASTV. 

Salvage plans for the vessel may have to wait. The forecast for the northern Kuril Islands is especially rough, with 60-knot sustained winds, heavy snow, low visibility and waves of 13 feet or more.