At least 56 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 56 crew. The boat is said to have gone down so quickly that its captain, who drowned, did not have time to send a distress signal. Emergency services said 63 crew members were rescued and 13 people are still missing. More than 25 nearby fishing boats helped to rescue the crew members in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Kamchatka Peninsula, in eastern Russia.

At this time we do not know what might have caused the tragedy.

Viktor Klepikov, from the rescue team

The Interfax news agency said drifting ice in the chilly Pacific waters may have played a role in the 26-year-old ship 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. Russia has a poor air, road and water safety record, with negligence and corruption often to blame for accidents.