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MOSCOW, November 16 (Itar-Tass) — A criminal case has been opened for investigating the circumstances of the incident with the Captain Kuznetsov dry cargo ship.
Spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) Vladimir Markin said that “the SK North-West transport investigation department has opened a criminal case over the long absence of 11 crewmember of the Captain Kuznetsov motor ship on the crime signs specified in Article 263 of the RF Criminal Code (violation of the rules of navigation safety and exploitation of sea transport).
The Arkhangelsk sea rescue centre reported earlier that on 07:30 a.m. Moscow time it had lost contact with the ship after a radio contact at 02:00 a.m. At the time, the ship was at the narrow entrance to the White Sea. The sea and river going ship was en route from the port of Varandei to Arkhangelsk, where it was to undergo repairs. There were 11 persons onboard.
Built in 1984, the Captain Kuznetsov, with the home port in St. Petersburg, is owned by the North-Western River Company. The ship is 86.7 metres long, 12 metres wide, and can carry up to 1,450 tonnes. According to weather forecasting services, the cloud thickness was ten points, the cloud base is 600 metres high, and the visibility was five kilometres in the area. Northwestern winds were blowing with a speed of 18 meters per second, with gusts of up to 28 metres per second. Air temperatures are minus three degrees Centigrade. Waves are reaching 2.5 - 3.5 metres in height.
On Wednesday, the missing vessel was spotted from a rescue helicopter. All the ship’s crewmembers have been found alive. Their evacuation was being prepared.