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MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. Russia’s large anti-submarine ship The Vice Admiral Kulakov has towed a distressed Ukrainian vessel to a Greek island, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday, adding the Ukrainian crew had received all necessary assistance.
БПК «Вице-адмирал Кулаков» оказал помощь украинскому рыболовецкому судну, терпящему бедствие в Средиземном море pic.twitter.com/KEpxKZAvvO— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) 25 November 2016
"Russia’s large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet The Vice Admiral Kulakov has finished the rescue operation to tow Ukraine’s 097 fishing vessel in destress to the dock near Greece’s Gavdos Island (30 miles south of Crete)… During the towing, the Ukrainian sailors have received all necessary, including medical, assistance," the ministry said.
The Ukrainian vessel and the crew shortly will be transferred to the Greek rescue services, the crew’s state is satisfactory. In order to tow the vessel, the Russian ship has covered the distance of more than 140 sea miles. The press service added, after that The Vice Admiral Kulakov will continue its combat duty in the Russian Navy’s grouping in the Mediterranean Sea.
On Thursday, the Defense Ministry said in a news release received by TASS "The Vice Admiral Kulakov received a mayday call from a Ukrainian shipping boat, 097 with a crew of seven on board (all Ukrainian citizens). Two of them needed medical assistance." As follows from the news release, the Russian ship picked up the distress message at 08:20 Moscow time to instantly hurry to the rescue.
"At 09:45 the Russian ship approached the Ukrainian fishing boat and took measures to provide assistance required. A group of Russian sailors and medics boarded the Ukrainian boat in distress. The affected sailors are receiving first aid," the news release said.
The Ukrainian fishing boat had been adrift for two days since its engine went dead on November 21. A four-point storm on the sea and strong gales complicated the rescue operation.