The Cambodian Bitang Harapan vessel with lumber on board has been on fire in the Sea of Japan for three days. The vessel is healing over losing gradually the stability.
The Vladivostok Coordination Centre of Rescue Missions reported on Thursday that the Russian Naporisty rescue vessel /port of commission - Vladivostok/ had arrived at the scene two days before. However, the rescue operation has not been launched so far.
The South Korean Inter Shipping Company, the vessel's owner, does not agree with Russian rescuers' financial conditions trying to make the price considerably lower than international tariffs. The Russian rescuers do not want to risk their lives working in extreme conditions for little money.
Negotiations concerning the rescue bonus were resumed in the early hours of Thursday. It's is quite possible that they will result in a failure and the vessel will sink. The burning vessel's tanks contain a substantial fuel reserve, while its holds are filled with about 8,000 cubic metres of lumber. This dangerous mixture can cause a real environmental disaster.
The Bintang Harapan lumber carrier bound from the Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky port to South Korea caught fire on August 12th. At that moment, the vessel was sailing in the open sea.
The Russian Rogachyovo trawler was quick to arrive to the vessel in distress. In the late hours of August 13th, the Rogachyovo fishers saved all 19 Bitang Harapan crewmen who were in rescue boats. Fourteen of them are Russian citizens, the rest are Koreans.
Later on, the saved sailors embarked the Russian Kapitan Nizhnichenko tanker bound to the Nakhodka port /the Maritime Territory/.
The senior mechanic, a Korean citizen, sustained the heaviest injuries. He was rushed to hospital with burnt arms and legs. Russian medics are currently doing their best treating the sailor. The rest of the crew have checked in a Nakhodka hospital.
The crewmen of the Cambodian lumber carrier say that the vessel caught fire following the explosion of a boiler.