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3 Jan, 2008 09:03

Helicopters search Azov Sea for tragedy survivors

A cargo ship has sunk in the Azov Sea on the Russia – Ukraine border. The bodies of two crew members have been found. One man has been discovered alive. Two helicopters have joined the search for the missing sailors as a rescue ship had to leav

“The rescue ship is coated with ice. It's heading for port Kavkaz with one frostbitten sailor on board. Two helicopters are searching for the missing men. The rescued sailor says he saw four of his fellow crew members on a life raft, so they'll have more chance of surviving than the rest. The temperature is very low and the wind is expected to rise. The waves are up to four metres high. All the ships in the area have received a storm warning,” said Aleksandr Polenov, Regional Ministry spokesman.

The cargo ship Vanessa was flying a Bulgarian flag and was carrying scrap metal. There were ten Bulgarian crew members and one Ukrainian pilot onboard.

The area is notorious for its severe storms. Last November four cargo ships sank and nine more were damaged in the Kerch Strait. The accident caused serious water pollution with oil and sulphur. Eight sailors perished.