Minister Alexiev: The lack of equipment and procedures for marine salvage is punishable by law irresponsibility

The long-lasting lack of equipment and procedures for emergency situations, such as the shipwreck at the Yailata area near Kamen Bryag, is punishable by law irresponsibility, the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Hristo Alexiev stated.

He arrived earlier today in the area of Yailata, where the stranded ship Vera SU is located. " The law clearly states that the State should be prepared and have procedures ready in cases of emergency, as well as be provided with technical resources. The recent days have shown that there is no procedure or rules", Minister Alexiev said.

"The formed crisis group will find the best solution to prevent the environmental catastrophe we are facing", Minister Alexiev said.

"I used my personal contacts to find a salvage company after we reached the conclusion that with the available equipment, the release of the ship could not be possible. The international company that took part in the salvage of the Russian submarine "Kursk" has been mobilized and a plan is currently being prepared. We will have it within hours and will inform you immediately about the next steps. I am in constant contact with the Navy for the supply of 4-ton anchors, for safening of the vessel", the Minister of Transport said. He noted that the weather conditions were not good and waves of 2 meters were expected.

Hristo Alexiev expressed his firm position that the protection of human health and nature came first. The presence of the crew of the cargo ship Vera SU was also taken into account, considering the need for evacuation.

"I would like to explain once again that according to Bulgarian law, the shipowner is obliged to carry out the operation to release the vessel", Minister Hristo Alexiev said. I consider as a mistake the decision of the Maritime Administration-Varna, which gave the owner 7 days to present an action plan and another month to release the ship. That is why on Sunday I issued an order by virtue of which I stopped all these actions and we mobilized the available resources, not only of the State, but also of the private companies", the Minister added. He assured that everything possible would be done to deal with the situation.

The Minister of Transport pointed out that after the release of the ship, everyone would take their responsibility and that he would be uncompromising to all those who had not fulfilled their duties on time so far and over the years.