Captains face arrest over failure to help sinking Russian river boat

The captains of two ships that failed to come to the aid of the boat that sank with the loss of over 100 lives in Russia’s Volga River on July 10 are to be arrested, investigators said on Friday.

“We have instructed transport police to detain the two captains…to assist in our enquiries,” Investigation Committee spokesman Vladmir Markin said.

The captains of the Dunaisy-66 and Arbat face up to two years behind bars if found guilty of deliberately ignoring a vessel in distress.

Survivors from the sinking Bulgaria cruise boat were eventually picked up by the MV Arabella vessel, where they received medical assistance.

Alexander Yegorov, the captain of the Dunaisy-66, has defended his decision not to stop, telling the Izvestia newspaper he had misjudged the scale of the accident, and that the barges in his charge would have made it impossible to provide help.

The captain of the Arabella has confirmed that he spoke with Yegorov and they both agreed that the Dunaisy 66 would have been incapable of providing assistance.

Rescue workers completed their search of the sunken vessel on Friday. The boat will be brought to the surface at the weekend.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has blamed “irresponsibly, negligence and greed” for the tragedy. The Bulgaria was critically overloaded and operators had no license to organize cruises.

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