A Russian cargo ship with a nine-man crew and carrying 700 tons of gold ore has gone missing off of Russia’s Pacific coast.
The Russian-flagged vessel, known as Amurskoye, sent a distress at approximately 05:15 GMT that was picked up by the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Sea Rescue Coordination Center on Sunday while battling a storm in the Sea of Okhotsk. A nearby tanker was diverted to the area but failed to turn up any evidence of the vessel.
“The Amurskoye motor ship disappeared three hours ago after sending a distress signal. We are currently searching for the ship but have so far failed to find it,” the rescue center said in a statement on Sunday. “An emergency beacon was activated. Probably, it simply fell over the board. That is why, we can’t yet say that the ship has sunk.”
The bulk freighter was en route from the port Kiran to the port of Okhotsk with a cargo of gold ore and nine crew members when it went missing, according to RIA Novosti. Original reports of an 11-man crew appear to be false.
Currently search and rescue operations are being hampered by severe weather in the area.