TOKYO, February 10 (Itar-Tass) The Russian Consulate General in the Japanese city of Niigata “provides the detained captain of the Russian cargo ship Tanya Karpinskaya - Alexander Zaika, with everything he needs during his stay in a detention facility of the Japanese Coast Guard in Niigata,” the diplomatic mission told by Itar-Tass on Friday.
“Yesterday we met with Alexander Zaika. He complained that it is cold in the Japanese detention facility,” the Russian Consulate General emphasised. “So we have provided him with everything necessary, including warm clothes and cigarettes.”
On Thursday Zaika was taken into custody on suspicion of violation of the ship operation rules that resulted in a collision with another vessel. The Japanese side has 48 hours for bringing formal charges against him and taking the case to the Prosecutor’s Office.
The rest crewmembers of the Russian cargo ship are currently accommodated in a hotel – officials of the commission of the Japanese Ministry of State Land and Transport continue to question them. The questioning is expected to end on Friday, and on Sunday they will be able to go to Vladivostok – the homeport of the Tanya Karpinskaya ship, flying from Tokyo’s Narita Airport where they will be transported by train.
On Thursday the Seafarers’ Union of Russia (SUR) through its colleagues in Japan began to clarify the circumstances of the arrest of Captain Alexander Zaika. SUR Deputy Chairman Nikolai Sukhanov said that SUR representative in this country Pavel Vyaznikov was instructed to contact the Japanese Seafarers’ Union. A letter was sent to him with a proposal to “request the Japanese Seafarers’ Union to provide legal advice and assistance in connection with these circumstances.”
On February 7 Tanya Karpinskaya vessel collided with the Kota Duta container carrier under the flag of Singapore - the captain of this ship, Polish citizen Ignacy Marek, is also currently under arrest. The Russian cargo ship with a displacement of 2,163 tonnes at the time of the collision was moving from one berth to another at Niigata port, and the Singaporean container ship with a displacement of 8,245 tonnes was heading out to sea. The Russian vessel carried 1.3 thousand tonnes of scrap metal delivered to Niigata from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Tanya Karpinskaya dry cargo ship, built in 1975, belonged to the Vladivostok-based Universal Transhipment and Forwarding Company (UPEK). In recent years she has performed mainly coastal cruises. According to the ship owner, there were no problems with the ship’s technical condition.