25 Jan 2018 13:20

Fishing ship Vostok, missing in Sea of Japan, capsized after icing - witnesses

VLADIVOSTOK. Jan 25 (Interfax) - The fishing ship Vostok, which has gone missing in the Sea of Japan, capsized under the weight of built-up ice, eyewitnesses said on social networks.

"My father was on another ship. The [missing] ship was following my father's vessel. He said that it [the Vostok] capsized because of icing," an Instagram user wrote. He said his father's ship was also covered with ice and listed but managed to reach the Zarubino port in Primorye.

"They kept hacking at the ice, no sleep. My father's ship was also listing. The captain was scared," the Instagram user wrote.

He posted a video of the icy ship.

Other Instagram users said in comments that members of their families had been sending photos of icy ships from the Sea of Japan.

"My husband is bound to Vladivostok; their ship is also icy. They keep hacking at the ice around the clock. He said they had a portside list," a user wrote.

The Vostok sent a distress signal near the southern coast of Primorye on Thursday morning. There has been no contact with the ship. Several life jackets have been found. According to various sources, the missing ship had a crew of 20 or 21 men, all of them residents of Sakhalin.

A criminal case was opened over the violation of maritime safety rules and causing the death of two people or more by negligence.

According to detectives, the ship was en route from the South Korean port of Donghae to the Kholmsk port in the Sakhalin region.

The Emergency Situations Ministry has issued an icing warning for ships in the Sea of Japan.