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17 FISHERMEN FEARED DEAD

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17 Fishermen Feared Dead

Two men were successfully rescued from the Onega ship No. MK 0331 (home port of Murmansk)  which sank off the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in Russia‘s far north this morning, reports the Daily Mail

The boat went down at 7am local time, reportedly sinking under its own weight after becoming ‘caked with ice’.

The two men rescued so far were plucked from the Barents Sea whose waters were a frigid minus 30C (-22F).

Russia’s emergencies ministry said the boat’s crew consisted of 19 members.

A search and rescue operation is being conducted in treacherous conditions, with hopes fading for the missing men in rough sea and high winds.

Most likely, all the 17 people died. They have not been found yet,’ a ministry spokesman said.

The weather was reportedly too bad for a helicopter to be flown to assist with search and rescue efforts.

Online news outlet Mash said the Russian-flagged vessel, built in 1979, sank as it attempted to raise a net with a catch.

Another fishing boat, the Voykovo, was able to pull two fishermen from the icy waters after arriving at the scene.

The pair wore wet suits and were clutching the body of another crew member, which was washed away as the survivors were raised on board. The two men were said to be in a satisfactory condition following the ordeal.

The Murmansk Transport Prosecutor’s Office is conducting an investigation in connection with the incident. The results of the check are under the control of the North-West Transport Prosecutor’s Office.

The fishing vessel “Onega” was launched in 1979. Its capacity is 358 tons. Flies under the Russian flag. According to data from open sources, on December 14, the vessel made its last call at the Norwegian port of Kirkenes, and at Murmansk on December 11.

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