SEOUL, Oct 25 (Reuters) Six more Russian sailors have been rescued from the waters off South Korea's east coast today, almost two days after 18 crew members went missing in a ship wreck in stormy weather.
South Korean rescuers had already saved five people while battling bad weather yesterday and recovered the body of another.
The search is continuing for the six sailors still unaccounted for.
The 2,448-tonne Sinegorye was carrying timber from Russia's Far East to China with 18 crew on board when communication with the vessel was lost after it transmitted distress signals.
A Russian search aircraft has joined South Korea's seven navy and coast guard vessels and four rescue helicopters in improved but still rough weather conditions, a coast guard officer said by telephone from the city of Donghae.
''This has been a massive operation'' the officer said.
The South Korean coast guard has said the Sinegorye sent a mayday call at around noon on Monday about 70 miles off Ullung Island on the east coast. Water had entered its cargo compartment in rough seas, and the vessel is believed to have sunk.
Heavy rain hit South Korea's northeastern region on Monday with record breaking winds. Gale warnings remain in effect off shore, the weather agency said.
REUTERS SAM BS1407