At least one person has died and 52 people are still missing after a South Korean fishing vessel sank in the Bering Sea off the coast of Russia on Monday, according to media reports. South Korean authorities have reportedly rescued seven crew members, including one Russian national.
The ship, operated by Sajo Industries Co. Ltd., was reportedly carrying nearly 60 people, including 35 Indonesians, 13 Filipinos, 11 South Koreans and one Russian. Authorities said that the only body recovered so far was that of a South Korean national, Reuters reported. The search operation for those missing was reportedly underway, but authorities said rescuers were facing complications due to bad weather and rough seas.
"When the fish were being hauled in, the vessel was hit by a wave," Artur Rets, head of the maritime rescue service in Russia's far eastern port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, said, according to Reuters. "According to our data, there were 62 people on board.”
Law enforcement officials said the vessel did not send any distress signal before the disaster, BBC reported, citing the RIA Novosti news agency.
"The ship tilted slowly after taking in water, forcing crew members to abandon it," a spokeswoman for the Russian ministry said, according to ABC News. "Several vessels from nearby waters were involved in search-and-rescue efforts, but the operation has been hampered by bad weather."