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Storm in Tartary Strait hampers refloating operation

December 10, 2012, 6:09 UTC+3
The rescue boat Atlas, which sought to refloate the dry-cargo ship on Sunday, had to go to the open sea because of a storm
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VLADIVOSTOK, December 10 (Itar-Tass) — A storm in Tartary Strait of the Sea of Japan (East Sea) on Monday hampered an operation aimed at refloating the grounded motorship Melody.

The rescue boat Atlas, which sought to refloate the dry-cargo ship on Sunday, had to go to the open sea because of a storm. The Melody remains grounded in the sand near the coastline of Sakhallin's Cape Krilon.

The sea rescue coordinating subcenter "Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk" reports that on Sunday a 700-metre tow line was stretched taut between the Atlas and the stricken ship. The high-powered rescue vessel made efforts to refloat the motorship and managed to shift it but a storm forced the Atlas to go to the open sea to prevent being grounded as well.

According to weather reports, wind velocity in the area of Cape Krilon is 15 metres per second and waves are three metres high. The stricken ship ran into deep into the sand for the lenght of half-a-hull at a distance of 35 km from Shebunino Village, Nevelsk District of Sakhalin Region.

The motorship's crew consists of nine people. The shipmaster of the Melody turned down an evacuation offer from rescuers. None of seamen has been hurt, and noone is in need of medical aid. The crew is provided with food and drinking water, and the ship equipment is serviceable.

The motorship Melody was cast aground on December7 in the morning when it was on its way from Vladivostok to Sakhalin's port Korsakov. The transport shipm which is 84 metres long and has a deadweight of over 4,000 tonnes, is having a cargo of containers and various equipment on board. The motorship was built in 1982 and is registered at port Korsakov. The Melogy is owned by a company based in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

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