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One Dead, Dozens Missing After South Korean Ship Sinks Off Russian Coast

 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press

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SEOUL, South Korea — Rescuers searched Monday for more than 50 people missing after a South Korean fishing ship they were working on sank amid high waves in the freezing waters of the Bering Sea, officials said. At least one person died. Authorities rescued seven crew members and recovered one body, but weather and water conditions were complicating the search for the others, an official from the South Korean fisheries and oceans ministry said on condition of anonymity because of office rules. Authorities in the Russian port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky said the rescued fishermen were well.

The crew included 35 Indonesians, 13 Filipinos, 11 South Koreans and one Russian inspector, the official said. Russian authorities said there were 62 people aboard the ship, which sank in the western part of the Bering Sea, near Russia. The South Korean ministry official said it's believed that the ship, which was catching pollock, began to list after stormy weather caused seawater to flood its storage areas. The official said the 2,100-ton ship was 35 years old.

An official who didn't want to be named from Sajo Industries, which owns the ship, said the ship had eight lifeboats and that the seven fishermen who survived and the person later found dead used one of them to escape. The captain of the ship had issued an escape order and it was believed that the rest of the crew also attempted to escape, he said.

At the time of the sinking, the waves were more than 13 feet high and the water temperatures were below 14 degrees Fahrenheit, he said.

— The Associated Press

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