MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Around 800 people are involved in a search and rescue operation in the Sea of Okhotsk, where the Dalniy Vostok fishing trawler sank late on Wednesday, a spokesperson of the Far Eastern division of the Russian Emergencies Ministry told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
"A total of 800 people and 17 pieces of equipment are involved [in the operation]," the spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, fishing vessels have rescued 63 people out of the water.
There were 132 people on board the Dalniy Vostok trawler, including 78 Russians and 54 foreign nationals, when it sank in the Sea of Okhotsk around 300 kilometers, or 186 miles, from the Russian port city of Magadan at about 20:40 GMT on Wednesday, according to a local emergencies source. At least 40 of them died in the accident.
The vessel did not send an SOS signal prior to its sinking, the source told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The Dalniy Vostok trawler is assigned to the Russian port of Nevelsk, located in the Sakhalin Region.