A Cambodia-flagged cargo ship with 24 Russians on board has been stranded in the Sea of Japan after the main engine failure amid a snow storm, a local sea rescue center official said on Friday.
The MV Victor freighter carrying a shipment of Japanese-made cars transmitted a distress signal shortly after leaving the Japanese port of Otaru for the city of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East on Thursday.
A Russian coast guard patrol vessel has arrived at Victor's location about 40 nautical miles from the Russian coast to monitor the ship's condition and to ensure the safety of 19 crew members and five passengers until two rescue tugboats arrive in the area to tow the ship in distress to the nearest port.
"A coast guard boat is currently staying near the Cambodia-flagged cargo ship. The coast guard personnel are ready to evacuate the crew and passengers in case of emergency," the official said.
The tugboats are expected to arrive in the area at about 08.00 Moscow time [05.00 GMT] on Friday, although their movement has been hampered by a severe snow storm, which swept over the Sea of Japan in the past two days.
The 2,180-ton MV Victor was built in 1976. The ship is operated by Vladivostok-based Morconserviñå Co.
VLADIVOSTOK, January 1 (RIA Novosti)