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Sparta in distress in Antarctic pumping fuel on S Korea icebreaker

December 26, 2011, 3:52 UTC+3

The trawler will have a more stable floatability

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VLADIVOSTOK, December 26 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian trawler Sparta, which is in distress off the Antarctic, started pumping the fuel on the South Korean icebreaker Araon on Monday, the Vladivostok company Antei, which owns the Sparta, said. After pumping the fuel on the icebreaker, the trawler will have a more stable floatability, the crew will be able to plug the hole, which the trawler sustained in the collision with the iceberg.

The May Day signal from the Sparta to another Antei trawler Chiyo Maru-3 was cancelled, because the South Korean icebreaker came to help the Sparta in distress, Antei director general Andrei Polomar said.

The Sparta trawler, which was catching a rare and precious toothfish in the Ross Sea on December 16, sustained a hole of 30 centimetres in diameter in the collision with the iceberg and developed a list of 13 degrees. New Zealand’s warplanes have made two flights to the trawler in distress and dropped the pumps and other equipment to fight for the floatability of the ship and plaster the hole. The Sparta crew managed to plaster the hole and reduce the list constantly pumping the water from the hull. The hole should be patched completely in the underwater part of the ship with the assistance of the South Korean icebreaker Araon.

The Sparta trawler is registered at the port Sovgavan in the Khabarovsk Territory. The ship was built in 1988, is 55 meters long, has a water displacement of 846 tonnes, the navigation area is unlimited, and a period of autonomic sailing is 50 days.

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