The chronology of m/v Amurskaya and its’ cargo of gold disappearance
Oct 27 – 27 vessel is loading cargo, gold ore, on the road of Kiran port, pos 55 00 N 135 23E, SW Okhotsk sea.
In the morning of Oct 27, around noon latest, vessel left Kiran for Okhotsk port loaded with about 600 tons of gold ore. Okhotsk port is 370 nautical miles to the north, along a streamlined coastline, some 48 hours sailing for Amurskaya with her 8 knots cruise speed.
Latest known position according to vessel’s AIS is 54 58N 135 39E at 1130UTC Oct 27, vessel was proceeding at a speed of 3.4 knots – either due to mechanical problem, or most probably, because vessel was already in a storm with NE wind 17-20 meters/sec and sea up to 3 meters.
The EPIRB was activated at 2300 UTC Oct 27 in presumably, position 54 40.38N 135 50.30E (officials don’t reveal the position, but position was given earlier by one edition known to be able to get information directly from MRCC Moscow). The edition in question, though claiming to be industry media, is utterly incompetent, so the EPIRB position they gave is a presumption, but it looks like a probable one.
The distance between last known position and alleged position of EPIRB is a small one, vessel could drift to EPIRB position even being under way, because disabled or under way, vessel was apparently drifting, trying to hold on against waves and wind.
The area of possible disaster is restricted and not too big, S&R are complicated by a storm and very low visibility, but if vessel isn’t found in 48 hours, she may be considered as sank. Most probable cause of the sinking is the shift of the cargo ore, due to inability of the vessel to hold on against waves and wind. Vessel has a weak engine, it probably, failed, so vessel was turned so that his side was open to waves, most dangerous situation in the storm, especially with bulk cargo on board. See map at http://www.odin.tc/news/read.asp?articleID=1479