Venezuelan warship shoots, rams into German cruise vessel before sinking

Venezuelan navy ship fired shots at a German-owned cruise ship on March 30 and rammed into the passenger vessel, leading to the sinking of the warship in the Caribbean.The Iranian regime-allied Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused the captain of the RCGS RESOLUTE cruise ship of “terrorism and piracy” and sought to force the ship into a new direction on the high seas. The cruise ship, which had no passengers on board and was sailing under a Portuguese flag, has a reinforced hull that enables it to sail through ice water.

Columbia Cruise Services, the Hamburg-based company that owns the RCGS RESOLUTE, issued a statement on Wednesday: “In the early morning hours of the 30th of March 2020 (local time), the cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE has been subject to an act of aggression by the Venezuelan Navy in international waters, around 13.3 nautical miles from Isla de Tortuga with 32 crew member and no passengers on board.”The company added that “When the event occurred, the cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE has already been drifting for one day off the coast of the island to conduct some routine engine maintenance on its idle voyage to its destination, Willemstad/ Curaçao. As maintenance was being performed on the starboard main engine, the port main engine was kept on standby to maintain a safe distance from the island at any time.”Columbia Cruise Services continued, stating that “Shortly after mid-night, the cruise vessel was approached by an armed Venezuelan navy vessel, which via radio questioning the intentions of the RCGS RESOLUTE’s presence and gave the order to follow to Puerto Moreno on Isla De Margarita. As the RCGS RESOLUTE was sailing in international waters at that time, the Master wanted to reconfirm this particular request resulting into a serious deviation from the scheduled vessel’s route with the company DPA.”According to the statement, “While the Master was in contact with the head office, gun shots were fired and, shortly thereafter, the navy vessel approached the starboard side at speed with an angle of 135° and purposely collided with the RCGS RESOLUTE. The navy vessel continued to ram the starboard bow in an apparent attempt to turn the ship’s head towards Venezuelan territorial waters.”

The cruise company said the RCGS RESOLUTE sustained minor damages, not affecting vessel’s seaworthiness, it occurs that the navy vessel suffered severe damages while making contact with the ice-strengthened bulbous bow of the ice-class expedition cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE and started to take water.”There were no deaths among the Venezuelan marines aboard the war ship. The Venezuelan authorities returned the navy personnel to safety.
The US Justice Department indicted the socialist President Maduro last month for running a criminal narcotics operation comprised of drug traffickers and terrorist groups.The US State Department announced $15 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Maduro.

https://www.jpost.com/International/Venezuelan-warship-shoots-rams-into-German-cruise-vessel-before-sinking-623422

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