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Sparta trawler to set off for New Zealand Wednesday

December 27, 2011, 15:10 UTC+3

The Sparta will steer for the port of Lyttelton for the continuation of the repair

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LONDON, December 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The Sparta trawler of Russia, which got a hole in the hull as a result of its collision with an iceberg off the Antarctic coast, will be able to set off for New Zealand on Wednesday. The Sparta will steer for the port of Lyttelton for the continuation of the repair, the British mass media reported on Tuesday (Lyttelton is an ocean suburb of Christchurch, which is the largest city of the Southern Island of New Zealand).

The Sparta will be able to start moving on Wednesday by the ice-free water even despite the fact that another hole was found in its hull. The New Zealand rescue services report, however, that it is not dangerous and will not hamper the current repair operation, specifically welding.

The Aaron icebreaker of South Korea will accompany the Sparta on its way from the ice captivity to the ice-free water, BBC reports. It came close to the Sparta on Sunday night. This made it possible to pump fuel out of the Sparta’s hold, which reduced the weight of the trawler and placed the hole above the water line. So, steel plates could be welded to the hull, and the hole was closed.

Other ships, which found themselves close to the distress area, also steered towards the Sparta, but could not move in the thick ice. The Sparta got caught in the ice in the eastern part of the Ross Sea, 3,700 kilometers south-east of New Zealand.

According to BBC, the weather is calm in the area where the Sparta is staying, which makes it possible to finish the repair and brings close the moment when it sets off for New Zealand.

The crew of the trawler includes q 15 Russian nationals, 16 Indonesians and a Ukrainian national.


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