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Ukraine suspends sea rescue operations due to bad weather
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08:32, November 13, 2007

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Ukraine suspended search and rescue operations at sea on Monday evening due to bad weather in the storm hit area where several ships were wrecked by a severe storm the day before, government officials said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Emergency Situations Minister Nestor Shufrych said search and rescue operations continue on the seashore.

"I want to note the good coordination of all port services of the transport ministries of Ukraine and Russia, and the emergency situations ministries of Ukraine and Russia. Sixty-four people were rescued as a result of joint actions by Ukrainian and Russian rescuers," Shufrych said.

Shufrych pointed out that all ship captains must have received storm warnings. "We cannot rule out that some ships ignored the warnings from the coastal service," he said.

"However, such a storm in the Kerch Strait has never been witnessed before. There was a bad storm in 1993, but only one ship was damaged then," Shufrych added.

According to the press service of the Ukrainian Emergency Situations ministry, three tugs, two ships, two helicopters, and four coast guard boats, along with the Ukrainian navy, were involved in the search and rescue operations in the Kerch Straits.

"The weather was getting worse in Kerch. Heavy rain and strong winds made the rescue efforts unable," the press service said.

Source: Xinhua

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