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The damaged Belgian craft Cristoforo Colombo will be utilized on Sakhalin
As RIA Novosti was told in the directorate of the Russian Federation' Emergency Situations Ministry for the Kholmsk district of the Sakhalin Region on Tuesday, the owner of the craft - European Dredging Company - admitted that it is impossible to heave off the dredger thrown onto the rocks near the port town of Kholmsk. "Representatives of one Japanese, one Korean and one American companies are arriving in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on February 23 to participate in the tender for disposing of the craft," the chief of the directorate, Colonel Mikhail Sitnikov, told the agency. The craft was swept aground during the passage of a powerful tropical typhoon over Sakhalin at the beginning of last September. All the ships which received a storm warning left the roadstead of Kholmsk port for the Tatar Strait, and only the captain of the Cristoforo Colombo ignored the demands of the port services. The winter storms increased the hole in the left board of the craft to 30 meters long and 2 meters wide. The attempts to save the ship did not produce any results. Two rescue operations were planned. The first implied dredging the seabed, making an artificial dam, and raising the level of water. But the 60 tons of earth brought to build a dam were washed away by fall storms. Then the owners of the dredger planned to heave it off using a powerful tugboat which specially came from Singapore last December. But this operation also proved to be unsuccessful, and the work was altogether discontinued in January. This notwithstanding, it is necessary to remove the Cristoforo Colombo as soon as possible. The earth, poured around the craft, was washed away and blocked all the canalization and drainage effluents of the town. According to general director of ZAO Sakhalinremflot Anatoly Moiseyev on whose territory the injured vessel is staying, their plant was already flooded with water two weeks ago, after which the effluents were cleaned. But the situation will dramatically deteriorate when spring comes, and the freshet and canalization waters will flood the Primorsky Boulevard
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