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A vessel with a Russian crew aboard
A vessel with a Russian crew aboard has sunk in the Sea of Japan, with no victims reported in the incident, a spokesman for the Russian emergencies ministry said on Sunday.

"A distress call came at 10:35 a.m. Moscow time [7:35 a.m. GMT]. The vessel, Kastor-1, loaded with timber, was going from [the Russian Far Eastern port of] Nakhodka to China and sank during a storm 180 miles south of the port. The 36-member crew managed to board life

rafts," Viktor Beltsov said.

According to preliminary information, lading shift during the storm could have caused the incident with the Kastor-1, which was sailing under a Saint Vincent flag, Beltsov said.

A number of incidents with Russian vessels and crews have been reported in the past few days.

On November 17, a sea rescue center in Astrakhan, in southern Russia, launched a search-and-rescue operation to answer a distress call from a Russian vessel that had disappeared in the Caspian Sea, the transportation ministry said.

The Kamyust-1 ship, sailing under the Russian flag and registered at the Taganrog port, was on its way from Astrakhan to the Iranian port of Enzeli, but failed to arrive to its destination on schedule," a ministry spokesperson said.

There were 12 crew members on board the ship carrying 2,200 metric tons of steel feed.

Also, the November 11 storm in the Kerch Strait between the Black and Azov Seas killed at least six sailors, sank four ships and split an oil tanker in two. The Russian emergencies ministry said 2,000 metric tons of fuel oil had spilled into the sea.

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