Moscow blames Chinese ship’s captain for sinkingFebruary 20th, 2009 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Feb 20 (RIA Novosti) The captain of a Chinese cargo ship, which sank off Russia’s Pacific coast Sunday killing eight crewmembers, is to blame for the tragedy, the Russian foreign ministry has said.
The New Star, owned by a Hong Kong based company, sank during a storm in the Sea of Japan 80 km from the port of Nakhodka in the Primorye Territory. The ship had earlier been chased by two Russian coast guard vessels, but refused to stop despite being fired on.
“We regret the tragic consequences of this incident. However we consider the captain of the New Star, who behaved extremely irresponsibly, is fully to blame for the incident,” said Andrei Nesterenko, a spokesman for the ministry.
Chinese media reported earlier that the Sierra Leone-flagged New Star sank as a result of damage sustained, when the ship was fired upon by Russian border guards after the vessel left Nakhodka and crossed the Russian border without prior permission from the authorities.
“We stress that the New Star violated Russia’s state border and for several hours the captain rudely ignored signals from the coast guard vessels and failed to comply with the lawful requests of the coast guard authorities,” Nesterenko said.
The Russian diplomat added that a full investigation, conducted by the Russian bodies concerned, was underway.
The border guards fired warning shots, but when the vessel still refused to stop more direct shots were fired.
According to video footage shown through Internet media in Vladivostok, Russian border guards fired a total of 515 shots at the vessel’s bow. When this had no effect, they requested permission to open fire on the stern.
The ship issued a distress signal when the vessel started to take on water during the storm Sunday, and 16 crew members, all of them Indonesian or Chinese nationals, got into two lifeboats. Half of them were picked up by a Russian vessel, but an attempt to save the other eight sailors failed when they were washed out to sea.
A small boat was discovered Tuesday in the area where the ship sunk, but there was no one on board.
- Chinese fishing ships detained by Russia - Jul 18, 2012
- Search on for missing Chinese sailors in Russian waters (Lead) - Feb 19, 2009
- Russian coast guards return 8,000 crabs to sea - Aug 28, 2009
- Cambodian vessel detained in Russia for poaching - Jul 25, 2011
- Seven missing after Russia sinks Chinese cargo ship - Feb 19, 2009
- Russia, China complete first stage of naval drills - Apr 25, 2012
- Four Russian warships set to leave for China - Apr 15, 2012
- US Coast Guard fires to sink Japanese tsunami ship - Apr 06, 2012
- China summons Russian officials over sinking of cargo ship (Lead) - Feb 20, 2009
- China, Russia hold joint naval exercise - Apr 22, 2012
- Foreign ships plying close to Indian coast warned - Mar 13, 2012
- Russia, US to hold anti-terror drill - Oct 04, 2011
- Eight drown as Chinese cargo ship sinks - Feb 18, 2012
- Indian naval ships in Russia - Apr 18, 2011
- Nine dead after pleasure boat sinks in Moscow - Aug 01, 2011
Tags: cargo ship, chinese media, chinese nationals, chinese ship, coast guard vessels, distress signal, lifeboats, nakhodka, nesterenko, primorye territory, ria novosti, russian border guards, russian diplomat, russian foreign ministry, russian vessel, s pacific, sea of japan, state border, tragic consequences, warning shots