Russian trawler sinks in Sea of Okhotsk following onboard fire

Enigma Astralis (Photo: Alasund Shipbrokers)

Russia’s Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transportation (Rosmorrechflot) has confirmed that a fishing vessel that caught fire in the Sea of Okhotsk last week eventually sank a few days later.

The Russian-flagged trawler Enigma Astralis was conducting fishing activities some 130 kilometres off Magadan in the country’s far east when a fire broke out on board on January 21.

The trawler’s entire crew of 47 were safely evacuated later that same day in a rescue operation that ultimately involved 11 vessels. However, the blaze continued to rage for three more days as responding firefighting teams were unable to board the trawler due to the worsening weather and the heightened risk of explosion.

Russian authorities later reported that radar contact with Enigma Astralis was lost on Saturday, January 25, as bad weather caused visibility in the area to deteriorate further.

A Rosmorrechflot official said that, on Tuesday, January 28, a vessel that was assisting in the subsequent search operation discovered a large object lying at the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk.

The object has been identified as the wreck of Enigma Astralis, the same official added.

Local authorities are still deliberating their next course of action in connection with the possible salvage of the sunken trawler.

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