Their bodies have not yet been found – but a rescue miracle seems out of the question. The 17 seafarers who went missing after the sinking of a fishing trawler in the Barents Sea are believed to be dead. The Russian Civil Protection Ministry announced. Only two of the fishermen could be saved after the accident on Sunday.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said people had died in the icy waters of the Barents Sea; At first he did not give any further details. President Vladimir Putin expressed his “deep condolences” to the families of the victims. In a statement released by the Kremlin, he sent “words of support” to survivors. Putin learned of the tragedy with “sadness”.
According to the news agencies Tass and Interfax, the crew of the “Onega” had cast their nets in the middle of a violent storm and despite temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees Celsius.
When she wanted to catch the catch early in the morning, the completely frozen ship sank near the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, Tass and Interfax cited unspecified sources. The survivors reported a devastating wave that struck the ship: “People were literally washed off the deck into the sea.”
The distress signal came too late
The ship sent a distress signal, but reports say the seafarers had no time to take care of their rescue equipment. The two fishermen who were rescued suffered frostbite, but their lives were not in danger.
However, from the start there were no great hopes for her still missing colleagues. Due to the difficult weather conditions, no aircraft could take part in the rescue operation.
Support from other boats only arrived at the scene of the accident hours later. Despite their special suits, the fishermen could hardly survive that long in the icy, churned water, an expert told Interfax.
Kalinin’s Murmansk-based “Onega” had been in operation since 1979.