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'On the Eve of the First World War, the single Siberian province of Irkutsk was larger than all of India'
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Vice-Governor missing presumed dead in boat tragedy

By Anna Liesowska
02 June 2015

Search goes on but there is little hope of finding Khanty-Mansi official alive after he fell into freezing river.

So far searches of the two rivers, which only recently became clear of ice, have failed to find any trace of Mr. Ermoshin. Picture: Ugrapro

A senior Siberian politician is presumed dead after falling from a boat into a freezing river during a fishing trip with friends. Vitaly Yermoshin, the Vice-Governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region, vanished at about 9pm on Saturday night during a journey on a stretch of water where the Ob and Irtysh rivers meet.

Eyewitnesses said the 49-year-old had left the cabin of the boat to take some fresh air but when he failed to return, the alarm was raised.

Another vice-governor, Alexei Putin, jumped into the water in a bid to save his friend but he too almost perished into the cold. He later said: 'I tried to save him but I failed. All the circumstances of what happened I told the investigating authorities. I have nothing more to say'.

Friends of the missing politician say the tragedy was nothing more than an accident and insist there is no foul play, pointing out that Mr Yermoshin had no enemies.

An official statement from the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region's government said that the Vice-Governor had been feeling unwell. It said: “He had health problems with his heart. On the boat he felt unwell and he went up on deck to breathe. He bowed his head and began to look at the water and fell overboard.”

Alexei Dobrovolsky, chief physician of the Khanty-Mansiysk District Hospital, added more detail about the politician’s health issues.

He said: 'During the last year Vitaly repeatedly reported to the doctors with complaints of pain in the heart. He was assigned an in-depth examination. However, about a week ago he had noticed some deterioration and came in for another in-depth examination. Vitaly worried deeply about his work. This often affects the heart, giving that he is not a boy'.

So far searches of the two rivers – which only recently became clear of ice - have failed to find any trace of his body. The point where the Ob and Irtysh meet is a potentially dangerous area with fast-flowing and unpredictable water.


Comments (1)

This story sounds fishy...there's a bit of Agatha Christie about it. Mysterious, to say the least.
Jaker, Dundalk
02/06/2015 23:22

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