Russian Authorities Find Missing Research Ship

A submersible photographed the Ametist, lost Feb. 11, 2011, with 23 crew members aboard, on May 11, lying at the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk off the coast of Kamchatka Island.

Russian news media reported the search for the missing research ship Ametist ended May 11 with confirmation by a submersible that it is located 275 meters down in the Shelikhov Gulf, off the coast of Kamchatka Island in the Sea of Okhotsk. Twenty-three crew members were aboard the vessel on Feb. 11, 2011, the date that the last data about its position was received; the trawler is located 11 kilometers away from that position, Itar-Tass reported, citing the press service of the Kamchatka Research Institute of Fishery and Oceanography.

Itar-Tass's report said the Panther Plus deepwater submersible confirmed the ship's location on May 11. "The found ship is staying on the seabed on an even keel. A crab trap mainline is wound around the ship's propeller-rudder system. There are tangled crab traps and 'wreckage of the vessel's deck items' around the ship's body. The submersible with a video camera recorded the name of the wrecked ship on her portside," according to its online report (http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/416375.html).

The search and rescue operation launched after contact with the ship was lost covered 80,000 square miles. It turned up only two life rafts and eight fishing buoys from the Ametist, which did not transmit any distress signal or activate its emergency radio buoy, according to the report.

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