It was the most common flight. These are often called weekend flights. On Saturday evening the ship "Bulgaria" left Kazan and at seven o'clock in the morning of Sunday moored in the town of Bulgar. The tour lasted about three hours, and on 11 in the morning, the passengers were already on board. The motor ship lay on the way back. Before the crash there were about two hours. It all happened in a matter of minutes. About three kilometers from the coast, in front of the village of Syukeyevo, the ship dramatically tilted and began to sink. The tragedy developed so rapidly that the passengers did not even have time to understand what had happened.
“He immediately fell on the right side. That's how it tumbled and everything remained there,” says eyewitness Nikolay Chernov.
Natalya Makarova and her husband were at that moment in their cabin. They owe their salvation to their own daughter. But they could not save her life.
“The child saved my life with my husband. She ran up two minutes before the disaster and said: Dad, Mom, the ship will now sink, put on the vests. I have a stupor - how to sink?” Recalls Natalia.
Natalia tried to keep her daughter to the last. But when the ship was already under water, an airlock knocked her out of the hands of her mother.
There were a lot of children on the boat. Some of the children before the disaster were gathered in a separate room, from which they could not get out. Jump overboard was mostly adults. They spent about two more hours in the water.
“Two ships passed - they didn’t stop at all. We waved and waved at them. Volganeft passed blue-blue with large sides, passed by, didn’t stop at all. Then the barge didn’t stop. And only this one stopped,” Nikolai Chernov continues.
Those who managed to escape, picked up the cruise ship "Arabella". Rinat Rakhimov on Bulgaria had a daughter with her husband. It was a little honeymoon trip. On board the "Arabella" son-in-law has called one. What happened, Rinat knows only from his words.
“We, he says, sank, I said, he gave his wife a hand, did not have time to pull her out of there. He says he swam out, but what turned out to be there, I don’t know. Here we are waiting for him,” says Rinat.
The motor ship Bulgaria itself was built in Czechoslovakia as far back as 1955, and, according to some sources, it never underwent a major overhaul. Yes, and design features were outdated.
The motor ship "Bulgaria" sank at 20-meter depth. The Emergencies Ministry said that hopes of finding the living among those who are still missing are melting away with each hour of searching.