Russian Fishing Boat Sinks In Sea of Okhotsk, Leaving Dozens Dead Or Missing

According to Russia's Tass news agency, a Russian fishing boat sank in the Sea of Okhotsk, leaving dozens dead or missing. Officials said the Dalniy Vostok freezer trawler was carrying a total of 132 people. CNN reports that more than 60 people were rescued from the water on Thursday.

At least 54 people were confirmed dead after the commercial fishing vessel sank on Wednesday in the Pacific Ocean near Kamchatka Peninsula, according to a Kamchatka rescue coordination center's website. Fifteen people who were on board are still missing. The emergency services site also said 25 fishing boats in the area helped rescue crew members.

What caused the incident is unknown. The boat reportedly went down after its engine room became flooded, the Deutsche Welle reports. Drifting ice in the ocean may have impacted the ship's hull, which could have led to the sinking. The ship, designed to capture, refrigerate, and deliver fish to ports, sank within 15 minutes, the emergency group said. The ship did not send out a distress signal, according to local media.

The Russian news agency said the boat's preliminary records showed that 78 people on board were Russian. The remaining passengers were reportedly nationals from Myanmar, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Vanuatu.