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Captain of the sunken freighter Stella declared lost

by | Nov 10, 2013
stella

Stella went down after hitting a reef near the Greek island Karpathos. (MaritimeTraffic.com.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The captain of the sunken freighter Stella has been declared lost as the rescue work ended November 5, according to Georgia’s Foreign Ministry.

In a statement, the ministry says yacht clubs, harbors and ships sailing near the site of the accident have been contacted in the course of the search.

The rescue operation’s coordination center informed Georgia that the search for Levan Tebidze, captain of the Stella, ended November 5 at 06:55.

The Georgian consulate in Greece was informed on November 2 that the ship Stella, which was sailing under a Sierra Leonean flag with a six-member crew of Georgians, had gone down after hitting a reef nearby the island Karpathos. Five crew members survived, while Tebidze was missing.

The ship’s owner Balmoral Services Co compensated the transport expenses for the Georgians as they left Greece for their home country on November 7.

Saturday morning, the wife of the captain appealed to president-elect Giorgi Margvelashvili to personally take charge of the situation.

Irma Tarielashvili says that his husband took all the measures that were his duty as captain.

“He gave the order for all the crew members to put on life vests. Then he put them into the boat and sent a distress signal. Despite all this, he didn’t jump from the ship until the latest minutes. The ship was almost sunk,” she says. “The last crew member told my husband that the ship was sinking and that he must leave the ship too, but Levan continued to keep contact with the rescue workers via radio.”

He called on everyone to leave and he would jump too. Tarielashvili says when other crew members were in the life boat, the ship tilted and they never saw whether the captain jumped.

“Please take care of protecting the rights of Georgian citizen Levan Tibadze just like you would do for your own son,” she appealed to Margvelashvili.



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