The Alexei Kulakovsky towboat with 14 crewmembers on board sank in the Laptev Sea on early Friday morning some 20 nautical miles from the shore, Russia's Far East emergencies ministry said, RIA Novosti reported.
A distress call from the vessel was received at 4:40 a.m. local time and a nearby tanker rushed to the towboat and managed to save three crewmembers, who are the captain and two sailors.
Rescuers from the emergencies ministry department in Russia's Far East are currently searching for 11 missing sailors. The rescue operation involves a Mi-8 helicopter with rescuers and doctors.
The Kapitan Babichev towboat and the Nikolai Yevgenov survey vessel also set off for the scene of the incident to take part in the rescue operation and are expected to be there in several hours.