Russian trawler VOSTOK with 21 crew missing in Japan sea

EPIRB from Russian fishing vessel VOSTOK with 21 crew on board was activated in the morning (Vladivostok time) Jan 25 in Japan sea, some 90 nm south of Vladivostok, Russia. Latest known AIS position 41 50N 131 31E, vessel was either proceeding towards nearest Russian port or drifting. Military helicopter was sent to search the area, returned to base after fuel ran out, no traces of vessel or crew found.

Comment: Most probably, vessel capsized, and as probably, capsizing could be caused by icing – vessel was sailing in one of most dangerous areas of Japan sea in winter time. Northeast area of Japan sea is open to gale-strong and very cold (with temperatures down to - 20-25C) northwestern winds, prevailing during winter season. With high waves and subzero temperature, ships in the area are prone to ice covering, very dangerous for small and medium sized ships like VOSTOK.
Vessel was en route from South Korean port of Donghae to Kholmsk, Sakhalin Island.



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