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Five Russian seamen returned home
Five Russian seamen who were crewmembers of the Cambodian ship Nobel that sank near the Chinese coast on Thursday returned home. They have been held at China’s Ninbo port since January 23, 2007 after the Nobel collided with a major Chinese floating crane. The Nobel vessel that brought to Ninbo 8,500 cubic metres of Russian timber was anchored when the floating crane collided with the dry cargo ship hitting its starboard. The ship was holed below the floating line. The Nobel crew struggled exerting shipboard damage control efforts, but then had to leave the vessel and board the Chinese floating crane. The Nobel sank four hours after it was holed, the ship captain’s second mate Sergei Sapozhnikov told Itar-Tass by telephone. The Nobel’s crew consisted of 19 members (all residents of Russia’s Primorsky territory). Soon after the shipwreck, 14 crewmembers were repatriated to Russia. The Chinese authorities detained five seamen, including captain Vyacheslav Skrynnikov, for “the investigation of the causes of the incident.” The seamen lived over three months in a hotel at Ninbo port and their freedom of movement was not limited. However, according to Sapozhnikov, “It was very difficult psychologically to wait for the completion of the incident investigation.” The Russian Seafarers’ Union called for the repatriation of the Nobel ship crewmembers. After the investigation was over, the Chinese authorities airlifted the Russian seamen to Harbin. From there they were transported by bus to the Russian-Chinese border. Then the wives and relatives were awaiting the seamen. Now all of them are home in Nakhodka and Bolshoi Kamen.
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