The Coast Guard is investigating whether the crew of a Russian passenger vessel may have been drinking before a boat crash that killed two fishermen, the agency said Friday.
The Coast Guard said it has received a report of possible alcohol consumption by some of the crew of the Pulkovo as the vessel headed from the Russian coast toward the Gibraltar Strait.
Four Russian fishermen are among those who survived the crash. The crash occurred in a small boat known as an outboard outboard pump deck when a portion of the vessel’s left bow broke and ran into the upper portion of the Pulkovo’s left bow. A portion of the vessel’s aft port and starboard bow broke off.
“Whether alcohol played a role in this accident will be part of the investigation,” said Petty Officer Ryan Doss, a Coast Guard spokesman.
The Russian cargo ship is carrying refrigerated liquid gas and eight-cylinder steam boilers, according to the vessel’s Facebook page.
The Pulkovo suffered severe damage and may not return to Russian waters for up to six months. The ship will need to undergo extensive repairs in Russia before the vessel can be refurbished to reach U.S. waters, Doss said.
The crew suffered bruises and minor cuts, according to Russian officials.
“The crew of the Pulkovo ship is in good condition,” rescue officials said in a statement, as reported by RIA Novosti, Russia’s state-owned news agency. “Some of the crew suffered some minor injuries as a result of the accident.”
Rescue officials said the crash was being investigated by the Russian authorities.
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