Russian captain blames nuclear sub for accident: report
The captain of a fishing ship blamed for a collision with Russia's nuclear submarine in the Pacific last week said on Tuesday the submarine crew lied to cover up its own mishap.
The nuclear-powered sub suffered light damage to its hull in the night accident on September 20 off the coast of Kamchatka peninsula facing the Bering Sea, but officials said no radiation was released.
Reports earlier quoted navy officials and the submarine crew as alleging the captain was drunk and ran the ship into the submarine, only to be caught later by sailors chasing it on boats.
"That's not true," captain Kazemir Gaidamovich told Gazeta.ru in an interview. He said his ship Donets was slowly maneuvering around another boat when sailors observed a "dark unlit object" and barely avoided a head-on collision.
"They came only 12 hours after the collision," Gaidamovich said of the navy sailors, also rejecting claims that he had been drinking.
The Svyatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets, a Delta III class submarine built for the Soviet Union in 1980, is equipped to carry 16 nuclear missiles.
Quoting a source in the prosecutor's office, Gazeta.ru said that the submarine should have alerted authorities of its presence in the region, but for some reason did not.
© 2011 AFP