A South Korean trawler sank in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea on Monday. Of the 60 crew members aboard the commercial fishing vessel, there are only seven known survivors and at least one known death. 52 members of the crew remain missing.
The 1,753-ton trawler Oryong 501 sank off the coast of the Chukotka region in northeast Russia. The crew was fishing for Pollock, one of the most popular fish in South Korea. The ship was believed to have run into trouble when a wave hit as the crew was hauling in its catch, flooding the boat’s storage chambers with seawater.
The seven surviving crew members were rescued from a life raft. It is believed that the other crew members put on life jackets and jumped into the sea. The actual temperature of the water at the time is currently unknown, however, the average temperature of the Bering Sea, between northeast Russia and western Alaska, this time of year can be as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
As depicted on Discovery Channel’s popular show “The Deadliest Catch,” the Bering Sea is a stormy region that feeds a large portion of North America, with lucrative crab, pollock, halibut, salmon, and cod industries.
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued all five members the Blazer, a 75-foot crab fishing boat that began taking on water about eight miles west of Siletz Bay, off the north-western coast of Oregon.
After making their mayday call to the Coast Guard around 4:20 a.m., all members of the five-man crew were able to put on their cold water immersion suits and launched the onboard life raft. The Coast Guard arrived with both a helicopter and boat to the potentially deadly scene. The Oregon Coast is notorious for its high, pounding surf, rough seas, and cold water. Three of the five crew members were rescued via helicopter and the other two were pulled to safety aboard the Coast Guard boat.
According to the Coast Guard, the Blazer ultimately succumbed to the sea and sank in an area believed to be about 420 feet deep. The crab fishing boat reportedly also had 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel in her holds. The Coast Guard will continue investigating.
(Featured Image Courtesy: Reuters)