SOFIA, December 6. /TASS/. Russian sailors, who were evacuated from the Elga-1 cargo ship in the Black Sea, were taken to Varna and now they are at a hotel there, Russia’s consulate general in Varna told TASS on Saturday.
“They all feel fine, their documents are safe,” Russian Consul in Varna Maxim Aleshim told TASS.
The Russian diplomats have been contacting closely the ship’s captain, Dmitry Razmakhnin, and are ready to offer any necessary support.
The vessel carrying coal left Russia’s Temryuk (Krasnodar territory) for Varna. On December 3, the ship, which was about 160 kilometres to the east of Varna, gave a distress signal, saying that into its engine room began flowing water, and the main pump was out of service. The Sea Spayder ship, which was carrying pipes for the South Stream gas pipeline, the local media say, came to assist the Elga-1 and took the Russian crew on board. By that time the crew were on an inflatable raft. All the 13 people were safe.
Director of Varna’s sea administration, Valentin Enchev told TASS earlier on Saturday the rescue work at the Russian cargo ship continued. However, he said, the situation is critical: the water is still coming into the engine room, and the rescue vessel does not have power enough to pump it out. Another rescue boat with additional equipment for pumping water is on its way to the cargo ship now. The Russian vessel will be towed to Bulgaria’s Balchik port.