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Black Sea Fleet joins search for sailors from sunken floating crane in Kerch Strait

October 12, 2016, 10:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A floating crane has sunk four kilometers off the Crimean coast

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© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. The vessels, aircraft and rescue crews of the Russian Black Sea Fleet have joined a search operation for sailors from a floating crane that sank off Crimea’s coast at night, Russia’s Defense Ministry told reporters on Wednesday.

"The ships and helicopters of the Black Sea Fleet involved in the search operation have all the necessary equipment to carry out rescue and diving work and provide medical assistance," the ministry said.

The incident occurred in the small hours of Wednesday near Crimea’s Yalta resort. There were eight crew members onboard the floating crane owned by Russia’s federal agency for maritime and river transport. Five of them have been rescued and the fate of three others remains unknown.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry’s department in Crimea reported earlier in the day that the floating crane heading for the port in the city of Kerch (in the east of Crimea) had sunk four kilometers off the coast near the settlement of Livadiya on Wednesday. 

According to preliminary data, the vessel sank due to bad weather. A criminal investigation has been launched.

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