KODIAK, Alaska, Dec. 1 --The Coast Guard is assisting the Kamchatka Border Guard Directorate and good Samaritans in their search for survivors of the South Korean flagged 326-foot fishing vessel, 501 Oryong, that sank off the coast of Chukotka, Russia, in the Bering Sea, Nov. 30.
A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro with an embarked Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter were dispatched to the scene Monday morning.
"Our ultimate goal is protecting life at sea whether at home or internationally, which is why we are working closely with the Kamchatka Border Guard Directorate to find survivors," said Capt. Diane Durham, chief of response, Coast Guard 17th District. "There are also five good Samaritan vessels on scene that are assisting in the search for survivors; their commitment to helping is commendable."
The Kamchatka Border Guard Directorate reported the 501 Oryong was hauling in its catch when a wave hit and flooded the boat's storage chambers with seawater.
The Kamchatka Border Guard Directorate reported the vessel was carrying 62 crewmembers at the time of the sinking; seven crewmembers in a raft were rescued by a good Samaritan, 54 crewmembers are unaccounted for and one crewmember has been confirmed deceased.
The Coast Guard Cutter Munro is a 378-foot high endurance cutter homeported in Kodiak.
Weather on scene is reported as half-mile visibility with a 250-foot ceiling, 22-foot waves and water temperature at 57 degrees.