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Venezuelan Navy Vessel sinks after hitting German Cruise Ship

Latin America

The German vessel was reported to be conducting repairs to one of its engines off the coast of a Venezuelan island when it was shot at and rammed by the Navy patrol boat. The cruise firm says its ship suffered minor damage but the smaller boat sank.

A Venezuelan Navy patrol boat purposefully collided with a German cruise ship in international waters off the South American country, German media reported on Friday.

The Resolute cruise ship had a crew of 32 but no passengers on board at the time of the incident, just after midnight on March 30.

The Hamburg-based Colombia Cruise Services said the vessel was the target of "an act of aggression" by the Venezuelan Navy as it was traveling to Isla de Tortuga for routine maintenance.

In a statement, the firm said the incident took place in international waters, around 13.3 nautical miles from the island.

"While the master was in contact with the head office, gunshots were fired and, shortly thereafter, the navy vessel approached the starboard side at speed... and purposely collided with the RCGS Resolute," it added.

"The navy vessel continued to ram the starboard bow in an apparent attempt to turn the ship’s head towards Venezuelan territorial waters."

The company said the navy vessel ANBV Naiguata accused the Resolute's captain of violating the country's territorial waters and ordered the ship to follow it to another island, Isla De Margarita.

The cruise ship had a reinforced hull to allow it to conduct polar expeditions and the Venezuelan vessel sank after hitting the bow of the cruise ship while attempting to turn it towards Venezuelan waters.

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