Russian trawler capsizes off Kamchatka Peninsula leaving 54 dead and 15 missing

1 April 2015 (Last Updated April 1st, 2015 18:30)

A Russian trawler has capsized in freezing waters off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Western Pacific Ocean, killing at least 54 people.

A Russian trawler has capsized in freezing waters off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Western Pacific Ocean, killing at least 54 people.

Russian news agency TASS reported that 15 crew members are still missing.

Dalniy Vostok freezer trawler capsized in the Sea of Okhotsk 330km west of Krutogorovsky settlement in the Kamchatka region, 250km south of the city of Magadan.

The vessel was reportedly carrying 132 people, consisting of 78 Russian nationals and 54 foreign nationals from Myanmar, Ukraine, Lithuania and Vanuatu.

"54 bodies have been recovered and 63 crew members have been rescued." 

A source was quoted by TASS as saying that: "According to updated reports, 54 bodies have been recovered and 63 crew members have been rescued."

The search for the missing crew is ongoing with the help of more than 26 vessels in the area.

Russia Investigative Committee official spokesman Vladimir Markin was quoted by the news agency as saying: "The investigators are considering all the possible theories of the trawler wreck.

"At the moment the investigators believe that the most probable cause of the fast submersion of the vessel is the possible collision with an obstacle."

A source from the Regional Emergencies Ministry said injured persons recovered from the wreck would be transferred to clinics in Magadan.

The home port of Dalniy Vostok freezer trawler, which was owned by Magellan, was Nevelsk in Russia’s Sakhalin region.