At least 54 dead after Russian trawler sinks in freezing Pacific

A Russian trawler with an international crew of 132 people has sunk in the Pacific, killing at least 54 crew. The boat sank in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Kamchatka Peninsula, in eastern Russia. Emergency crews said 63 crew members were rescued and 15 people are still missing. More than 25 fishing boats in the area helped to rescue the crew members.

All in all 106 people have been taken aboard the ships participating in the rescue operation. Twenty-six fishing vessels are already involved in the operation.

An officer on duty at the local Russian maritime rescue coordination centre

The Interfax news agency said drifting ice in the chilly Pacific waters may have played a role in the sinking. Meanwhile, Russia’s TASS news agency cited an official as saying the crew might have violated safety rules by exceeding the capacity of cargo storage. Besides Russia, Interfax said crew members came from Latvia, Ukraine, Myanmar and Vanuatu.