site.btaDay 10: NAVAL RSV 421 Comes Across Empty Boat near Spanish Shore
Around 1015 hrs ship's time (same as Eastern European Time) on January 5, the Bulgarian naval research/survey vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (NAVAL RSV 421) came across a free-floating boat off the coast of Spain, near the port of Cartagena.
Doing their duty, the ship's crew lowered a workboat and came to the rescue of the drifting vessel, only to find there were no signs of life on board. Various items were found in the abandoned boat: bags, life vests, a few items of clothing, and several containers.
The boat was recovered to the starboard side of the Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii and lifted onto the aft deck by crane to be handed over to the Spanish port authorities.
"A drifting object was spotted, we first surveyed it with a closer manoeuvre, after which a workboat was lowered to check if there were any signs of life on board. Fortunately for us, there were no signs of life as the boat was empty. There was debris: bags, various life vests, and a few items of clothing. The object is now on board and will be handed over to the Spanish authorities when we enter port. We are a naval research vessel and at times like this our main task is to rush to the rescue when we can. It is our duty to hand over this boat, with all the property that was found in it, to the Spanish port authorities," the ship's Commanding Officer Nikolay Danailov told BTA.
"At the same time, this was a training for our cadets. While we were approaching the object, they practiced finding bearings, distance and proximity - on the port and starboard sides. The idea was to show them how, in order to lift an object on board, you stand on the lee side," the Commanding Officer added.
The Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii is on its historic first voyage to Livingston Island in the South Shetlands in support of the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition. The ship is expected to reach its destination in some 40 days.
BTA's Daily News editor Konstantin Karagyozov is the only member of the media who is travelling on board the ship to Livingston Island and back, and will cover the Bulgarian expedition on site throughout the stay in Antarctica.