Thursday 2 April 2020

RCGS Resolute sinks Venezuelan Navy patrol vessel [video]

#expeditioncruising .

It sounds like an April Fools prank, but reports just in from various sources, including an official statement from the Venezuelan Navy, indicate that one of that country's vessels has been lost after a collision with the former One Ocean Expeditions ice-strengthened expedition vessel, RCGS Resolute, now under the control of the German firm, Columbia Cruise Services.

Resolute is currently without passengers and completing a relocation.

While details are still sketchy as to who was the aggressor, it can be confidently reported that ANBV Naiguatá, also known by its hull number GC-23, collided with the Resolute and the latter's 1A Super Finnish-built hull was too much for the smaller patrol vessel.

"Venezuelan Navy attempts midnight boarding of five-star Antarctic cruise ship RCGS Resolute. Resolute rams BVL Naiguatá capsizing and sinking warship. All crew accounted for. "

It has also been reported that shots were fired, possibly warning shots, to coerce the Resolute to comply with a seizure based on the Venezuelan Navy's claim that the cruise ship had violated their territorial waters.

[Editor's Note: the video posted above by the Venezuelan Navy is heavily edited and omits crucial details such as: did Resolute deliberately ram the patrol boat or did the faster and more manoeuvrable vessel intentionally cut across the bow of Resolute?]

While considerably smaller, the modern 1720 ton, Spanish-built patrol ship with a crew of 44 still commands respect with a single, turret-mounted 76mm main gun as well as twin 20mm cannons and a pair of .50 calibre heavy machine guns.

The reports mention that Resolute was drifting (with or without power is not clear) while crew conducted maintenance about 13 miles from Isla La Tortuga, a Venezuelan island some 60 miles from the South American country's northern shore.

Damage can be seen on RCGS Resolute's starboard bow after the collision (source)

Resolute, it is reported, made sure rescue assistance was not required before proceeding (we imagine at top speed) to its destination port in the Dutch territory of Curaçao.

More details as they come to hand.

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