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ARKHANGELSK, November 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The Dixon icebreaker has tugged the distressed Captain Kuznetsov dry cargo ship to the entrance buoy in port of Arkhangelsk, a spokesman for the Arkhangelsk sea rescue centre told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“The ship will be further tugged by the shallow-draft port icebreaker Captain Chadayev. The tugging will take several hours,” the spokesman said.
On Thursday, a Mi-8 helicopter saved two injured crew members from the Captain Kuznetsov in the White Sea. They were taken to the Semashko hospital in Arkhangelsk. Medics say their condition has deteriorated.
The two men told rescuers that radio contact with the ship had been lost because high waves damaged the deck house. All radio equipment was located in the deck house. The captain lost control of the ship and she heaved aback. The crew activated the emergency radio beacon and battened themselves down in the machine compartment, the warmest place in the ship. Soon, the main engine died and electricity was gone.
The Captain Kuznetsov was reported missing in the White Sea overnight to Tuesday when she was on the way from the port Yara-Yakha in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous area to the port of Arkhangelsk, where she was to stay anchored during the winter. In the bottleneck of the White Sea the ship got into a strong storm and communication was lost after the last radio contact at 02:00 a.m. Moscow time on Tuesday. In 90 minutes, an emergency beacon went off near the Kanin Nos Cape in the White Sea. A search-and-rescue operation involving ships and aircraft was conducted amid the storm.
An ILyushin-38 airplane of the Northern Fleet spotted the missing ship at 11:15 a.m. Moscow time on Wednesday. The ship was stuck in the bottleneck of the White Sea, 60 kilometers east of the Orlov-Tersky Tonkiy Cape and 104 kilometers away from the place of the last radio contact. Arkhangelsk rescuers got onboard the Captain Kuznetsov from a Mi-8 helicopter and found all the eleven crewmen alive. The crew managed to activate the engines and the ship went off the shallow waters herself. Later, she was taken in tow by the Dixon icebreaker.
Built in 1984, the sea and river going dry cargo ship Captain Kuznetsov, with the home port in St. Petersburg, is owned by the North-Western River Company. The ship is 86.7 meter long, 12 meters wide, and can carry up to 1,450 tons.
The Northwestern transport administration of the Russian Investigations Committee opened a criminal case on charges of violations of navigation rules and sea transport service regulations.