No sign of fishing trawler missing in Russia

The head of Russia's fisheries agency says a fishing trawler that disappeared last week after sending an SOS either has sunk or sent the distress signal to disguise its escape from the Asia-Pacific region.

The Partnyor, with about a dozen Russian crew aboard, was last heard from Friday near Sakhalin Island. A search turned up no trace of the ship.

Federal fisheries agency chief Andrei Krainy told Russian news agencies Monday that the Partnyor may have sunk. Another possibility, he said, was that the vessel, which had been caught poaching last year, may have fled the region.

To the north in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russian icebreakers were working to free two vessels that have been trapped in thick ice for 11 days. Officials say the crews are in no danger.