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Envoy Thanks U.S. for Saving Soviet Seamen

March 16, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — A Soviet diplomat paid a call on the State Department today to express gratitude for the Coast Guard rescue of 37 crew members from a sinking Soviet freighter and their "friendly treatment."

Charge d'Affaires Oleg Sokolov "on behalf of the Soviet government expressed gratitude for the help rendered in rescuing the crew of the transport ship Komsomolets Kirgizii," a Soviet Embassy statement said. "Thanks were expressed for the expeditious and effective help rendered as well as for the care and the friendly treatment accorded to the Soviet seamen."

The Soviet ship sank early Sunday, leaving an oil slick four miles long and hundreds of flour sacks floating 210 miles east of New Jersey. The freighter was bound from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Cuba with a load of flour when it began listing in rough seas Saturday.

'Fun Evening' Ashore

Coast Guard helicopters airlifted the 37 people aboard the 482-foot vessel and flew them Saturday to the Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona, N.J.

The crew left a New Jersey motel Sunday where they spent a "fun evening" with new friends who said they learned that the Russians are "people like us."

The seamen were taken to the Soviet Embassy's residential compound and were awaiting the regular Tuesday Aeroflot flight back to Moscow.

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