At least 54 crew members are dead after a Russian trawler sank in the icy waters of the Sea of Okhotsk off Russia's Far Eastern coast early Thursday.
The massive trawler Dalny Vostok sank in just 15 minutes off the Kamchatka Peninsula at around 4 a.m. Thursday local time (2 p.m. Wednesday EDT), reported the Associated Press.
The ship was carrying a crew of 132 people, of which 63 crew members have been rescued. The fate of the remaining 15 is unknown.
According to the Associated Press, no cause was immediately given for why the trawler sunk. Investigators are speculating that the ship may have collided with drifting ice.
At the time of the incident, snow showers were flying across parts of the Sea of Okhotsk on the back side of a storm system churning east of the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Sea surface temperature contour charts from NOAA indicate that the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk are subfreezing.
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Additional snow showers will occur across the eastern Sea of Okhotsk through Friday.
Winds west of the southern Kamchatka Peninsula will blow from the northwest at 15 to 25 mph through Thursday night, while winds from the northeast could occasionally reach 30 mph in the northeastern Sea of Okhotsk.
Winds will lessen some for Friday.