Kiev, Ukraine. In a strange tale being told long after events transpire, Ukrainian Coast Guard forces apparently violated Russian waters in Crimean, resulting in a running gun battle on the high seas, nearly ending in the Ukrop vessel being sunk.
The Director of Ukraines Coast Guard, Volodymyr Omelyan, awarded employees of the Marine Search and Rescue Service and the crew of a Ukrainian boat for their actions in an incident that occurred near the Russian Crimean coast on April 24th, as reported on Friday by the press service of the department.
The report says that the seamen were awarded for “having repelled the unlawful actions of the Russian vessel in the Black Sea.” Six people were awarded. But the story being peddled is much different from the reality of a handfull of lost Ukrainian sailors getting themselves in a dangerous situation, then running and being lucky enough to live and tell about it.
“Our sailors did not give up, they saved themselves and the Ukrainian boat, and returned it to its port. You have preserved your honor and the honor of Ukraine,” the Minister said in the message.
The incident was not announced until May 5th. A statement by the press service of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine said that on April 24th a Russian ship near the Crimean coast “tried to capture a Ukrainian rescue boat.” In particular, it was noted in the statement that near the city of Skadovsk (Kherson region of Ukraine), the Russian ship approached the boat and demanded the crew “to stop on its course and to heave to.”
The Ukrainian crew “showed confident actions,” and refused to comply with the demands of the Russian seamen, and sailed to Skadovsk, the Ukrainian ministry noted. Reality was the crew ran for the lives as each side eachanged small arms fire, with fortunately nobody getting killed or harmed in the waterborne skirmish.
The press service of the Border Service directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in the Republic of Crimea relayed its version of events. Representatives of the Russian special services stated that the Ukrainian search and rescue boat was engaged in the surveillance of Russian Navy vessels and tried to enter the territorial waters of the Crimea. Russian border guards did not let them through and the Ukrainian boat ran from the encounter.