Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ice Bound Sailors A-Okay

Sailors from Katya Z ship, which remained trapped in an icy region of the Sea of Azov, gave their accounts of the experience. On several occasions 1.5 metre thick ice blocks surrounded the ship, sailors said. Captain Yancho Nikolov said the first time the ship got stuck the ice coverage around it reached thickness of 35 to 40 cm.
Despite the experience Nikolov said he never had to deal with similar situation. On January 23 Katya Z got stuck. One rescue operation on February 3 failed. Katya Z reached the Bulgarian port of Bourgas on February 21, Focus news agency reported. Temperatures dropped to -27 degrees Celsius, Nikolov said. If the electric system of the ship failed the health of the crew was at risk, said he. After the first rescue operation failed the ship got stuck once again. At that point the food supplies of the crew were almost depleted and a decision about leaving the ship had to be taken, Nikolov said.

Varna Shipping & Trading Istd, company that owns KATYA-Z Ship, which spent almost a month stranded in ice in the Sea of Azov, thanked the Ukrainian authorities for their help in the rescue operation, reads an official statement of the Ukrainian embassy in Bulgaria. The statement was sent toreporters. “The management of Varna Shipping & Trading Istd has described the results of the rescue operation of KATYA-Z Ship as a sign of high professionalism and responsibility of the Ukrainian authorities”, the letter reads. KATYA-Z Ship sailed under the flag of the Caribbean Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and was chartered by Varna Shipping & Trading Istd. Its crew consisted of 14 Bulgarians and 4 Ukrainians. Its captain was Yancho Nikolov. The ship left the port of Berdyansk, Ukraine at midnight on January 22nd, 2006 and was travelling to the port of Burgas, Bulgaria. On its way it got stranded in ice.

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