|The USS Kidd comes to the rescue of the fishing boat Al Molai. US Navy photo.|
The master of a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance on receiving a signal from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance, if possible informing them or the search and rescue service that the ship is doing so. If the ship receiving the distress alert is unable or, in the special circumstances of the case, considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to proceed to their assistance, the master must enter in the log-book the reason for failing to proceed to the assistance of the persons in distress [and] to inform the appropriate search and rescue service accordingly.
The captain of a vessel that passed by the sinking Bulgaria cruise ship without stopping to help rescue drowning passengers was fined, but avoided jail time, Interfax reported.
A district court in Tatarstan ruled that Yury Tuchin failed to provide help to victims of the July disaster on the Volga River, in which 122 people died when the 55-year-old Bulgaria foundered in a storm.
Tuchin, skipper of the Arbat dry cargo ship, pleaded guilty to not stopping to collect survivors, but said he had only done so because his ship risked crushing the lifeboats.
The prosecution asked to jail the 60-year-old sailor for 14 months and ban him from working on ships for three years afterward, but the court only fined Tuchin 130,000 rubles ($4,200), the report said.