Ship Laden With Gold Ore Disappears in Storm

MOSCOW - A cargo ship carrying millions of dollars worth of gold ore has reportedly vanished off Russia's far east coast amid stormy weather.

The Amurskaya disappeared in the Sea of Okhotsk on Sunday. One of the ship's emergency beacons was activated near the Shantar Islands, according to Russia's Interior Ministry. A tanker which responded to the call for help found no trace of the vessel.

RIA Novosti reports that search and rescue efforts have been hampered by bad weather. State-owned RT television reports that three ships, an amphibious aircraft, and a helicopter looked for the ship on Sunday, which was carrying between eight and 11 passengers. An additional helicopter and two ships joined the effort today.

The Amurskaya was carrying 700 metric tons of gold ore. According to experts quoted by RIA Novosti, each ton of ore contains an average of just six ounces of gold. With gold prices at $1,708 an ounce, the ships would presumably be carrying over $7.17 million worth of gold.

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