Rescuers believe they have found the missing Amurskaya freighter submerged in shallow waters in the Sea of Okhotsk, but a diving expedition to conduct a closer inspection had to be postponed due to deteriorating weather conditions Monday.
Emergency workers hit upon their first clue when they spotted from the air a patch of diesel close to where the ship's emergency beacon was triggered on Oct. 28, according to a statement on the Emergency Situations Ministry's website.
After using sonar technology on board a rescue board, emergency workers then discovered an unidentified object similar in size to the Amurksaya at a depth of 25 meters.
While examining the submerged object had to be delayed until Tuesday due to choppy seas, a team of divers has remained in the area should weather conditions improve, the ministry said.
The nine-day rescue operation has so far found no trace of the Amurksaya's nine crew members. Emergency officials said they would continue to scour the Khabarovsk region's coastline.
The Amurskaya, which was carrying around 700 tons of gold ore at the time it went missing, disappeared near the Shantar Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk on Oct. 28 after triggering an emergency beacon.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the freighter had violated safety regulations and was not cleared to leave port.