A Venezuelan naval ship rammed a passenger vessel in international waters earlier this week, sinking only itself.
The RCGS Resolute was “subject to an act of aggression by the Venezuelan Navy in international waters, around 13.3 nautical miles from Isla de Tortuga” in the early hours of March 30, according to a press release from Columbia Cruise Services (CCS), which operates the Resolute.
The Venezuelan defense ministry says its actions against the CCS vessel were perpetrated based on suspicion that the ship may have been loaded with mercenaries ready to attack the country, according to CNN. (RELATED: Trump Admin Indicts Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro On Drug Trafficking Charges)
Shortly after midnight, an armed Venezuelan ship approached the Resolute and requested that it sail to a Venezuelan port. While the Resolute was in contact with authorities regarding this large course deviation, “gun shots were fired and, [and] shortly thereafter, the navy vessel approached the starboard side at speed with an angle of 135° and purposely collided with the RCGS RESOLUTE. The navy vessel continued to ram the starboard bow in an apparent attempt to turn the ship’s head towards Venezuelan territorial waters,” says CCS.
“While the RCGS RESOLUTE sustained minor damages, not affecting vessel’s seaworthiness, it occurs that the navy vessel suffered severe damages,” says CCS. This eventually resulted in the Venezuelan ship sinking, reports CNN. The now destroyed Venezuelan vessel costs over $320 million, according to Aurora Intel.
Aurora Intel also posted photographs of the minor damage the Resolute sustained. The CCS’s ship fared so well due to its reinforced hull designed to navigate icy waters.
RCGS Resolute with very minimal damage after the collision. Venezuelan navy say the Naiguata was seriously damaged then sunk. pic.twitter.com/DCLCYp9SkT
— CNW (@ConflictsW) March 31, 2020
The entire crew of the Venezuelan ship were rescued, according to a government press release. The Venezuelan government also says it will take “corresponding legal actions.”