There are two survivors from fishing vessel Onega, reported lost west of Novaya Zemlaya in the Barents Sea.
Onega MK-0331 is reported by the Ministry Of Emergency Situations to news agency TASS to have been fishing at the time of the incident, early this morning, under difficult freezing conditions.
Fishing vessels Voikovo, Osveyskoye, Chapelan and Antias were in the vicinity and immediately started a search for survivors. Of Onega’s 19 crew, two wearing survival suits were picked up by Voikovo. There is not believed to be any hope now of the remaining 17 crew members being rescued.
According to the Federal Agency for Fisheries, skipper Ermakov on board Voikovo reported that Onega was no longer to be seen on radar and its sidelights could no longer be seen, and Voikovo immediately head for Onega’s last known position. At the same time, there was heavy weather and freezing conditions of -15°C, contributing to heavy icing.
Skipper Ermakov is co-ordinating the ongoing search at the scene and reported that the two rescued crewmen were unharmed, but in a state of shock. The Federal Agency for Fisheries vessel Mikula is heading for the area.
Onega was built in 1979 and operates under the Russian flag. An investigation is being launched into the causes and circumstances of the vessel’s loss.
‘On behalf of the Federal Agency for Fisheries and myself, I express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims,’ said Ilya Shestakov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries.