Loose cargo which shifted in stormy weather may have sunk the "Amurskaya" that disappeared in rough seas in the Far East on Oct 28. Bad weather continued to hamper a broadening rescue operation.
But the Russian Union of Seamen rejected the idea that the "Amurskay", which was carrying 700 tons of gold ore, might have been the target of foul play because of its cargo as one ton of mineral ore contains two to several hundred grams of pure gold.
Investigators established on Oct 30 that the freighter had nine people on board when it set off for its last trip, contradicting earlier reports of eight to 11 crew members.
Most of the crew members were Primorye region residents.
The scope of the rescue operation was limited due to continuing stormy weather in the search area.
Only one ship was able to continue the search, while two trawlers and three aircraft remained on standby.
Stormy weather was also forecast for the next two days. Despite all efforts, no traces of the missing ship or its crew have been found yet. None of the ships sailing through the area have had any contact with the missing ship.