Last Saturday, a private motorboat with 39 holidaymakers aboard capsized 100 m off the shore in Yeisk, a small Russian resort on the Azov Sea.
Having noticed a dolphin, all the passengers rushed to the portside. Since the permitted load was 16 people, the next moment they found themselves in the water and the boat capsized. Luckily nobody got drowned as a motorboat with beach-rescuers was passing by. They took puddling children and those who could not swim aboard. As the shore was relatively close, the rest careless holidaymakers managed to swim to it.
According to Alexander Malyuk, an expert at the Chief Department of Civil Defence and Emergency Situations of the Krasnodar Territory, most pleasure boats on the Azov Sea coast belong to individuals. Local people buy motorboats to take tourists for sea trips and earn some money during holiday time.
The elementary rules of passenger transport are often being ignored. Passenger load frequently exceeds the standard two or three times with no agency around to control it. The motorboats formerly owned and eventually written off by fishermen’s collectives lack any rescue equipment, which under regulations should include lifebuoys and life jackets.
Translated by Zaghid Yusoupov