Tragedy on Volga: captain of barge that collided with catamaran reveals details
The catamaran’s recognition lights were turned on only 200 meters before the collision.
The captain of the barge that collided with the catamaran on Volga river said that the pleasure craft passengers “made no attempt to help themselves,” as they were drunk. Mash has published the captain’s commentary without revealing his name. According to the sailor, the catamaran passenger, who was “the soberest,” managed to survive – he grabbed a buoy ring, which was thrown from the barge.
The captain also noted that the catamaran’s recognition lights were turned on only 200 meters before the collision. It was only after the barge emitted a sound signal and directed a searchlight towards the catamaran. In addition, the catamaran crew did not react to attempts to contact them by radio.
After the collision, the barge captain put out a man overboard (MOB) alarm. The barge crew came down on the water and picked up all the survivors. When the barge cast the anchor, the catamaran resurfaced from under its hull. The barge crew went to see whether anyone else could be saved, but they only pulled out a woman without signs of life. The crew members tried to administer CPR on her, but she was already dead.
The Telegram channel 112 has published a story of one of the surviving passengers of the catamaran, also without giving his name. The man said that after the collision, he managed to escape through a window, but he was pulled underwater. He tried to take his head out four times but was caught up in the vortex. Eventually, the man managed to get to the opposite side of the barge. Passenger Aleksandr Elizarov, who was in the same cabin with him, died.
The channel’s source added that none of the crew and passengers of the catamaran noticed the barge. After the collision, the ship sank to the bottom within a minute. The passengers unsuccessfully tried to knock out the hatch and windows. The blow landed on the cabin, where 17-year-old Inga Negrash was staying – she also died.
The collision of the catamaran and the barge took place on the evening of July 11 near the cargo port of the Voroshilovsky district, Volgograd. It claimed the lives of 11 people; five people survived. According to Interfax, the victims included two State Road Traffic Safety Directorate officers, one of whom died along with his wife and daughter, and the other with his wife.
It is reported that former deputy of the Volgograd City Duma Dmitry Khakhalev, previously convicted for rape, was at the helm of the catamaran. At the time of the collision, Khakhalev was in a state of strong alcohol intoxication. Passengers of the pleasure craft were celebrating the birthday of one of the traffic police officers.
The ICR Southern Investigations Directorate for Transport has initiated a case under Violation of the Rules for Traffic Safety of Inland Water Transportation Systems Entailing by Negligence the Death of Two or More Persons (part 3 of Art. 263 of the Russian Criminal Code). According to the investigation, the catamaran had not been registered with the appropriate bodies since 2017. Owner of the boat station, who, as the investigation believes, did not prevent the catamaran from sailing, has been detained as part of the investigation.