The Russian inland cruise ship Stepan Arzhakov with 98 passengers and 11 crew grounded in Lena river 8 km upstream from Batamay Kobyayskiy in Yakutia. The vessel was hit by strong cross winds and hit a sandy mud shallow near the shore, suffering serious damages and breaches below the water line. The local authorities started rescue operation and 98 people, including 10 children, were evacuated from the grounded cruise ship and taken to city of Bulus and later transfered to city of Yakutsk. There is no report about injuries injuries from the passengers and water pollution. The local authorities started investigation for the root cause of the accident.
“The rescue was carried out over several hours by two Mi-8 helicopters, with 31 people including ten children brought to Yakutsk”, says the official statement of EMERCOM of Russian Republic of Sakha. “The remaining 67 people will be transfered to Yakutsk by bus. All of them received hot meals and psychologists to treat the stress of the passengers”, adds the statement.
Into the salvage operations of the river cruise ship Stepan Arzhakov were engaged 60 people and four tugs. The ship grounded by storm, which pushed her to sandy shallow. The vessel remained afloat, but local authorities requested evacuation of the passengers due to security reasons. The salvage will be done at high tide when weather improves.