Venezuelan Navy Releases Video of ANBV Naiguatá-RCGS Resolute Collision Incident

The Venezuelan Navy has released a video of the recent collision incident between the Coast Guard Command patrol vessel ANBV Naiguatá (GC-23) and Portugal-registered cruise ship RCGS Resolute, which led to the sinking of the Venezuelan vessel.

The heavily edited video showed the Navy personnel shooting at the cruise ship and then ramming the ice-strengthened cruise ship with the patrol vessel. The video also showed the patrol vessel taking on water following the collision.

Venezuelan Navy claimed that the patrol vessel was conducting maritime patrol duties in the country’s territorial sea northwest of La Tortuga island when it collided with RCGS Resolute at around 00:45 local time on March 30. It accused that Resolute continued to sail to its destination Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, without rescuing the Venezuelan crew of the sinking vessel.

The Navy also released radio communications between the vessels.

Full video released by Venezuelan Navy:

The operator of the passenger ship, Columbia Cruise Services, has released a statement on the incident on April 1. The statement accused the  Venezuelan Navy of “act of aggression” while sailing in the international waters.

The statement said that the Venezuelan patrol boat initially fired shots at the ship and then rammed the starboard bow in an “apparent attempt to turn the ship’s head towards Venezuelan territorial waters”. It added that RCGS RESOLUTE sustained minor damages which did not affect the vessel’s seaworthiness.

According to Columbia Cruise Services, the navy vessel suffered severe damages while making contact with the ice-strengthened bulbous bow of the ice-class expedition cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE and started to take water. RCGS Resolute is a purpose-built ship capable of conducting polar (Antarctic and Arctic) expeditions with the highest ice class (Lloyds 1AS).

The statement also said that RCGS RESOLUTE remained for over one hour in the vicinity of the scene and reached out to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Curaçao adding that all attempts to contact those on board the navy ship were left unanswered. The cruise ship then continued its journey to Willemstad after receiving the order to resume passage full ahead by the MRCC.

 RCGS Resolute in Aberdeen, Scotland. Photo by Rab,Driver of P300NJB @Grampian Continental/ Wikimedia Commons.
RCGS Resolute in Aberdeen, Scotland. Photo by Rab,Driver of P300NJB @Grampian Continental/ Wikimedia Commons.

ANBV Naiguatá (GC-23)

ANBV Naiguatá (GC-23) is a Guaicamacuto-class patrol boat operated by the Venezuelan Navy’s Coast Guard Command. The vessel, based on Navntia’s Avante 1400 design, was constructed at the Navantia shipyards in the Cadiz town of San Fernando, Spain.

The Guaicamacuto-class vessels are called as BVL (Spanish: Buque de Vigilancia de Litoral, “Coastal Surveillance Ship”) in Venezuela and are used for patrol duty in the economic exclusive zone (EEZ).

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