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VIDEO: Tragic sinking

A 330-foot Russian fishing trawler sank within 15 minutes about 4 a.m. Thursday in the icy waters off Russia's Far East coast, killing at least 56 people and probably more.

Despite the speed at which the Dalny Vostok went down, 63 of the 132 people onboard were rescued, picked up by nearby fishing boats.

Oleg Kozhemyako, acting governor of the nearby Sakhalin region, said on Russian TV that the federal Investigative Committee is considering all possible causes for the sinking, but it was likely that the trawler hit "an object" floating in the sea, perhaps drifting ice.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry released this raw footage of government and good Samaritan vessels searching the area for survivors.

Note the clear skies and relatively calm seas. The water temperature was reportedly near the freezing mark. Among the people on board, 78 were from Russia and 42 were from Myanmar; the rest were from Latvia, Ukraine and Vanuatu, according to international news reports.

About 26 fishing boats and 1,300 fishermen and emergency workers were taking part in the rescue operation. They were scouring the water for survivors and bodies even after darkness fell, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said.

The fishing boats had recovered 56 bodies as of Thursday afternoon.