11 crew missing after tug sinks in Russian Arctic: official

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Emergency services were scouring the frigid waters of the Russian Arctic Friday in search of 11 sailors missing after their tugboat sank, officials said.

The boat sank in the early hours of the morning close to the port of Tiksi in the Yakutia region of the Russian Far East, deep inside the Arctic Circle, the investigative committee of prosecutors said in a statement.

"Of the 14 members of the crew, three people were rescued. An operation is underway to find the 11 members of the crew" still missing, it said in a statement.

The ITAR-TASS news agency said that the condition of the three rescued by a tanker, who included the captain, was satisfactory.

It said that the tugboat had been called out overnight to assist a fishing vessel that had run into difficulties while at anchor in high winds at the mouth of the Lena river around Tiksi.

© 2010 AFP

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