Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happened near Sakhalin Island

Here's a tragic case happened in the Sea of Okhotsk north of the Pacific Ocean about a dozen days ago as reported by completed with this video report:

 Rescuers have saved 14 of the 67 people who were on board a floating oil rig which capsized in the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia’s Far East, according to latest reports.

Nine more dead bodies have been found in the freezing waters off Russia's Far East coast, where an oil rig capsized.

It brings the death toll to 16, with 37 still missing, more than a day after the tragedy happened.

The Kolskaya rig was being towed by an icebreaker and a tow boat to Sakhalin Island after finishing its drill mission when the disaster happened. A distress signal was sent from it on Sunday morning.

The rescuers have already found three lifeboats – all of them were empty. The chances of survival of those missing are now close to zero because these lifeboats were their only chance for survival in the freezing waters. The temperature on Sakhalin Island at present is -20 C.

“It means that the crew was not able to get down in the lifeboats. The boats were washed away with the flow of the water,” said the rescue operation co-ordinator, Veniamin Ivanychev.

Still, one lifeboat remains unaccounted for by search and rescue teams and it could potentially be found with survivors on board.
I only learned about the Sakhalin (庫頁) Island and Sea of Okhotsk way back in grade school geography in mainland China long time ago, I guess at some point in history they belonged to the Ching Dynasty.  Somehow I have always imagined it as a winter wonderland of some sort.  There was no clear indication on what had happened.  It was a large wave or waves of 15 to 20 m size. Not necessarily unexpected when there's winter storm. Anyway, let's pray for miracles even though hope for additional survivors have been dim.  May the Lord's blessing be with those lost and their families.

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