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Empty Liferaft Found Near Amurskaya Wreck, No Trace of Vanished Crew

By MarEx 2012-11-19 13:29:00

Rescuers have located an empty liferaft in the vicinity of the AMURSKAYA shipwreck found yesterday off Russia's far eastern coast.

The search team found the 20-person raft near Feklistov Island in the Sea of Okhotsk. It was mostly deflated and battered, but there were no crewmembers found inside. This leads investigators to believe that the chances are extremely slim that any of the AMURSKAYA’s missing crew will be found alive. They last made contact on October 28th.

The sunken freighter was discovered near the Shantar Islands at a depth of 25 meters on Wednesday. While inspecting the ship's deck, divers notice that the abovementioned life raft was missing, leading Russia’s Transportation Ministry to speculate that crew members had attempted to escape the sinking vessel, reported the Moscow Times.

Rescue vessels, tugboats and ground parties are continuing to search the coast of the Shantar Islands and nearby areas for traces of the vanished crew. A dive team will also navigate the inside of the sunken cargo ship to search for bodies; there were no finds on the ship’s bridge that was searched yesterday.

According to investigators, there were at least 700 tons of gold ore cargo on the ship, although the vessel’s maximum capacity was just over 600 tons. Experts believe that the ore cargo was displaced in rolling, and the vessel swiftly capsized as a result in high seas, according to the Russia & India REPORT.

Read more on the disappearance of the AMURSKAYA and its crew below:

Missing Russian Gold Ship Found at Bottom of the Sea, Crew Still Unaccounted For

Update: Ship Owner Arrested in Vessel's Disappearance

Russian Cargo Ship & Crew Disappear in Sea of Okhotsk