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Sailors from Russian vessels arrested in UAE return to Primorsky Region

June 03, 8:02 updated at: June 03, 9:16 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK

Sailors from the western Russian regions, including St. Petersburg, Murmansk and Novorossiysk, hired at the expense of Gazprombank, replaced the 13 sailors on the two vessels

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VLADIVOSTOK, June 3. /TASS/. Sailors from the Russian vessels Crystal East and Carolina Wind, that were arrested by the United Arab Emirates, have arrived home, to the Primorsky Region, after they had been replaced by new crews, Vyasheslav Tsoy, director of the shipowner company Nakhodka Portbunker, told TASS on Sunday.

"Today, the sailors have arrived from Dubai to the Primorsky Region already. They are fine," he said.

Sailors from the western Russian regions, including St. Petersburg, Murmansk and Novorossiysk, hired at the expense of Gazprombank, replaced the 13 sailors on the two vessels, Tsoy said.

Crystal East has been in the UAE since 2015; in the summer of 2017 the vessel was arrested by a decision of an Emirate of Sharjah court over an appeal filed by Gazprombank. In December 2017, seven crewmembers returned to the Primorsky Region, and seven people from the same region were deployed there to replace them in order to take care of the vessel. In March, the sailors wrote a letter to the Russian Consulate General in the UAE, asking to help them return to their homeland, because the situation on the vessel was difficult: it had run out of fuel.

In mid-April 2018, the health of three sailors deteriorated, and a doctor who got aboard recommended they should be repatriated to their homeland and further treated there; however, a court decision was needed to place the people in a local hospital. It was decided to wait for the sailors’ return to Russia instead of hospitalizing them in the UAE.

The Carolina Wind was also arrested in the UAE. In late March 2018, the crews of the two vessels were paid arrears in salaries.

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