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Russian Ship Hits and Damages Icelandic Coastguard Vessels

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Russian Ship Hits and Damages Icelandic Coastguard Vessels

Photo: Páll Stefánsson

The Russian tall ship Kruzenshtern ended its visit to Reykjavík yesterday by ramming the Icelandic Coastguard patrol ships Þór and Týr, which were docked at the quayside. Both Icelandic vessels sustained damage.

“These things can happen when a big ship is approaching the quay, or leaving it. Nobody was injured,” the Coastguard’s Ásgrímur Ásgrímsson told Vísir, philosophically. “The police have been called and the maritime accident investigators and witness statements have been taken.

“Neither of the ships is sinking and there is no damage below the waterline. But there is damage which needs to be assessed. The plan is for Þór to go on a reconnaissance mission after the weekend and we will make the repairs necessary so that it will be seaworthy.”

Kruzenshtern also visited Iceland in 2009 and spent a weekend as part of celebrations to mark 65 years since the end of the Second World War.

This is not the first time the Russian naval cadets’ ship has hit another vessel: last August it hit a 17-meter-long tug off Esjberg in Denmark, resulting in the smaller boat sinking.

Kruzenshtern was built in 1926 in Bremen, Germany and was given to the Russians at the end of the Second World War. It now sails out of the Russian port of Kaliningrad, which was once part of Prussia and was called Königsberg. It was home to the philosopher Immanuel Kant.

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