Russia suspends search for 16 missing fishermen in Barents Sea

Onega (Photo: adolfsen)

Authorities in Russia have ordered the suspension of the search for the missing crew of a fishing vessel that sank in the northern Barents Sea within the Arctic Circle late last month.

No traces of the trawler Onega or of 16 of its crew have yet been found by the time authorities called off the search effort due to worsening weather and sea conditions on Monday, January 4.

The trawler reportedly capsized while the crew were hauling nets on board shortly after 07:00 local time on December 28. An official of river transport authority Rosmorrechflot told local media that the capsizing occurred so quickly that the crew had no time to properly deploy life rafts.

Only two survivors among Onega‘s crew have since been pulled out of the water while a third individual was found dead.

The incident occurred west of northern Russia’s Novaya Zemlya archipelago, a region notorious for ice accumulation and temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius.

A local official said that, due to the conditions in the area, it is highly unlikely that additional survivors will be found.

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