Another Russian tourist found dead in China: three still missing

The body of a third Russian has been recovered by rescuers in China. The bodies of two other Russian sportsmen who died on a rafting trip were found yesterday. All the bodies have been taken to the Chinese city of Hotan for identification. The search for

Six sportsmen from Moscow State University went to China with a daring challenge – to become the first people in history to raft down the torrid Yurungkash River.

They began their dangerous journey on August 18 and were supposed to reach a meeting point on September 2, but they failed to turn up.

A vast search operation was launched involving hundreds of rescuers from Russia and China.

On Wednesday rescuers flying over the area in a helicopter spotted equipment belonging to the missing Russians. They found two abandoned canoes. Underneath one of them, which was broken to pieces, rescuers found two bodies. They have been identified as the President of the Moscow Sports Tourism Federation and his 25-year-old son.

The other boat was tied at the side of the river about 14 kilometres downstream.

“All kinds of medical and repair supplies were scattered around the bank next to a catamaran. It seems they were trying to fix the catamaran. No doubt, some people did stay there. We cannot say how many of them exactly. No messages were left. We did hope to find some notes to gain some information, but didn't find anything,” says rescuer Veniamin Uspensky.

The search effort was suspended until morning, but six people remained at the site where the bodies were found. On Sunday several groups of rescuers resumed combing the highland area and found a third body.

“We saw the body from the helicopter, further downstream at the exit from the canyon. There was a platform in the river bed for the helicopter to land, so we collected the body and flew it to the aerodrome,” another rescuer, Sergey Bobyr, said.

It's thought 3 or 4 of the group may have tried to continue their way on foot.

The recovered bodies have been taken for identification but the search continues.