Russian ship sinks in Japan Sea

A search operation is continuing in the Sea of Japan where a ship carrying Russian crew sank in a heavy storm. All 36 on board escaped on four life rafts, 22 of whom have now been rescued.

The vessel was carrying lumber from the Russian port of Nakhodka to China when the disaster occurred.

Olga Alkina from the Far East regional emergencies ministry says the rescue operation is hampered by bad weather conditions.

“All the vessels nearby have been sent to the area. Weather conditions are extremely poor. Waves in the area are reaching up to four metres high, and the wind speed is 18 metres per second. The weather also makes it impossible to use a plane, but a rescue plane is on standby in Khabarovks. The captain of the vessel said the sinking was due to cargo shifting during the storm,” she said.