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Russian aid to Norwegian tanker in distress

A Norwegian tanker with nine people on board is drifting in the Barents Sea. A Russian tug has left Murmansk to assist the vessel, a Russian news website reports.

The Russian tug “Purga” left Murmansk this afternoon to help the Norwegian tanker “Norvarg”, which is drifting in the Barents Sea, FlashNord reports.

“The vessel has a crew of nine people, including one Russian citizen,” Anatoly Leontyev of the Russian Fisheries Agency’s salvage department says to FlashNord. According to Leontyev, the vessel is drifting some 200 nautical miles off the coast of Murmansk. It will take “Purga” about twenty hours to reach the vessel.

“We are in contact with the vessel, and the situation is under control,” he adds. “This is the first time in twenty years that a Russian rescue crew goes out to help Norwegian sailors,” Leontyev says.

Norvarg” is said to have electricity, fuel, water and supplies. But the situation could become worse because of the weather – the wind in the area where the vessel is drifting, is up to 18 m/s now.

The tanker belongs to the company Marine Supply AS, which is based in Tromsø.