Seven rescued from stricken Russian fishing trawler

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Estonian and Finnish rescue authorities responded to an emergency call from a Russian fishing trawler which got into difficulty of the northern Estonian coast late Thursday night.

"At 11.40 last night, a Russian fishing vessel with seven people on board got in trouble, 15 miles north of the Juminda Peninsula (about 40 kilometers east of Tallinn-ed.)," a Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) spokesperson told ERR Friday morning.

"The vessel called for assistance via radio, giving its coordinates, and the Maritime Surveillance Authority (Merevalvekeskus) determined that it was suffering a rudder malfunction, with two sections of the vessel flooded. The boat was adrift, and some time lost electrical power," the spokesperson continued.

The center then alerted the Estonian and Finnish fleets and air bases and contacted vessels in the vicinity of the stricken trawler, with a tanker flying the Liberian flag being first on the scene.

The crew were discovered in a life raft and wearing life jackets, and winched to safety. Two of the crew were reportedly injured, and these were airlifted to hospital by a Finnish rescue helicopter.

A PPA helicopter delivered the remaining five crew members to the North Tallinn Regional Hospital (PERH) for a medical check.

All crew members were citizens of the Russian Federation and the authorities are in contact with the Russian Embassy. Rescue boat the General Kurvits is investigating the incident, according to the PPA.

Janne Ryönänkoski, Finland's chief of maritime rescue, told Finnish daily Ilta-Sanomat rescue vessel from Porvoo and a helicopter had also been involved, and that noone's life had been endangered.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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