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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

5 Sailors Saved Off Coast of S. Korea

ReutersSouth Korean police rescuing Russian sailors Tuesday from the Sinegorye, which was carrying timber when it sank.
Rescue teams, battling inclement weather, have saved five crew members from a wrecked Russian cargo ship off South Korea's coast, and recovered the body of another seaman, news agencies reported Tuesday.

A total of 18 crew members were aboard the 2,448-ton Sinegorye, which was believed to have sunk while carrying a cargo of timber from the Far East to China.

Interfax quoted Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying in Vladivostok that four of the five rescued crew members were in satisfactory condition and had been taken to South Korean ports. The fifth remained on a vessel taking part in rescue operations.

Emergency Situations Ministry officials said poor weather had prompted a postponement until Wednesday of plans to send an amphibious aircraft to help search the area.

The South Korean coast guard said the Sinegorye sent a mayday call around noon local time on Monday, about 113 kilometers off Ullung Island on the east coast and was believed to have sunk. Water had entered its cargo compartment in rough seas.

A South Korean ship had initially found three sailors alive.

"A life raft with one crewman, who was alive, was found. Another two were pulled from the water, also alive," Interfax quoted a Russian rescue service official as saying. "The Sinegorye's lifeboat has also been found, but there was no one in it," the official said.

Two large patrol boats and a search aircraft were dispatched, but the ships experienced difficulty reaching the area until well into the night, a South Korean coast guard official said.

Heavy rain hit South Korea's northeastern region Monday.