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VLADIVOSTOK, February 20 (Itar-Tass) —— The rescue vessel Atlas arrived to the Kuriles' Island Iturup on Monday morning and joined the operation at the grounded Karakumneft tanker's site.
Aboard the Atlas is a group of divers and equipment to repair the damaged tanker, from which 300 cubic metres of fuel has spilled.
The Atlas is expected to remove the tanker from the rocks after fuel is completely pumped from it.
According to the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk rescue sea coordination centre, the refrigerator Afina with fuel hoses and the Aktiva tanker will arrive at Iturup later in the day. The Aktiva will take fuel from the Karakumneft.
Since Sunday, 132 cubic metres of fuel has been pumped from the damaged tanker into on-shore tanks.
The Karakumneft was grounded by the storm on February 15. The tanker has six holes. None of the 20 crewmembers were hurt in the accident. On the night of February 16, all were evacuated and accommodated in a hotel in the city of Kurilsk.
Last Saturday, EMERCOM (Emergencies Ministry) divers examined the underwater part of the tanker and found bottom damages. Specialists dealing with the oil spills examined 12 kilometres of the coastal line north and south of the port of Kurilsk and found some traces of diesel fuel.
The Karakumneft delivered oil products to the Kuriles. Part of the vessel's cargo was received by Iturup, when a storm warning was issued. The tanker left the port for the open sea to wait for weather improvement, but the windstorm threw the tanker onto the rocks 80 metres off the coast.