With the help of deep-sea submersible Panther Plus experts managed to identify trawler Ametist lost in the Sea of Okhotsk in Feb 2011, said press secretary of FSUE KamchatNIRO Maria Varkentin referring to director Oleg Lapshin who is coordinating the search operation on board research ship TINRO.
“In June 2011 Pacific Fleet hydrographic ship detected an object resembling Ametist in the Shelikhov Bay 11 km away from the last positioning point at the depth of 245 meters”, Varkentin told Interfax.
“At that time we failed to identify the object by light submersible due to heavy current and low underwater visibility. But now it is absolutely clear that object is Ametist”, she explained.
Research ship TINRO left Vladivostok for the Shelikhov Bay on May 4 with deep-sea submersible Panther Plus on board to identify the object. Panther is a so-called “garage-type” submersible. A container is put on the seabed and a camera-equipped submersible with independent cable works. The submersible is operated by military experts.
The Ametist identification works were arranged and are carried out by FSUE KamchatNIRO and FSUE TINRO-Center with participation of Federal Agency for Fisheries, Russian Defense Ministry, Eastern Military District Command, and Pacific Fleet.
According to Vzglyad, mid-size refrigerating trawler Ametist was lost in the Sea of Okhotsk on Feb 11, 2011. There were 23 crewmembers on board. Active searches lasted till the end of March 2011 but then were suspended. In May, local governor Mr. Ilyukhin addressed to Eastern Military District Commander ADM Konstantin Sidenko with request to dispatch a Pacific Fleet vessel to scan the seabed at the incident site.
Early June 2011, PF hydrographic ship GS-296 detected an object similar to the hull of Ametist. However, the trawler has not been lifted so far.
Source: RusNavy, May 14, 2012; Image: RusNavy