Volga "Bulgaria"

Volga Bulgaria. It was once on the Volga, on the territory of the modern Republic of Tatarstan, such a state. It was, and ended, dissolved in the sands of time. Nobody today would have remembered this word "Bulgaria" if it were not for trouble. Yes, what a disaster - a tragedy. Large-scale, epic in scale, painfully Russian. In the afternoon of July 10, the tourist ship of the same name sank on the Kuibyshev reservoir in 3 kilometers from the coast. This catastrophe was the largest in stories Russian river navigation, it is already clear that the number of its victims will exceed 100 people. 12 July is declared a day of national mourning.

The double-deck passenger motor ship Bulgaria has sunk in the waters of the Kuibyshev reservoir in 13 hours 58 minutes. According to eyewitnesses, the ship sank to the bottom for 3 minutes, sinking at a depth of about 20 meters. The ship did not give the SOS signal, therefore they learned about the tragedy on the coast with a considerable delay. Only after 1,5-2 hours did the surviving passengers and crew members pick up the Arabella motor ship passing by, the 76 man (the passenger 53 and the crew member 23) still 3 people were lifted aboard the Meteor on board.

According to official data, the ship should have 148 passengers (as many people purchased tours), as well as a 23 crew member, 8 service personnel and 4 animator - just 183 people. However, in fact, the ship turned 208 people. It turns out that some of the passengers - 25 people - swam on the ship "hares". Emergency Ministry staff learned about their existence during the rescue operation.

The catastrophe occurred so rapidly that they simply did not have time to launch the boats. But even if they were lowered, there would still not be enough life rafts and lifeboats, they were designed for 156 people. At the same time, inflatable life rafts and life jackets went into action, there were 177 life jackets on board the vessel, including children's ones. The rafts worked automatically when the ship was flooded.
Volga "Bulgaria"
Passenger ship "Bulgaria"

Immediately after the catastrophe, a picture of the deplorable state of the vessel, which, as it turned out, was known to almost everyone except the controlling state bodies, opened. In particular, the next survey of the vessel was carried out on 15 on June 2011 of the year, the vessel was declared operational, and the rescue equipment met all the requirements of the river registry. This was reported by the company “AgroRechTour, which is a subtenant of the vessel, and also confirmed in the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. At the same time, on its last voyage, the vessel left without a license to transport people.

The ship "Bulgaria" belonged to the cruise ships of the project 785 and was built in Czechoslovakia in the year 1955. At the time of the disaster, the ship was 56 years old, with the only major overhaul of the ship held back in 1980 year.

That is why the version of the wear of the vessel and its mechanisms came to the fore. This was confirmed by data released by the Prosecutor General's Office after the tragedy. The last overhaul on the ship was carried out 30 years ago, there was no license for the carriage of passengers. The ship had a left engine malfunction. On its last voyage, the Bulagaria left, having a lurch to the starboard, and the vessel was overloaded. The ship’s lurch could be due to the fact that fuel was poured only into the right tank or to the fact that sewage tanks were not released on the ship.

The weather also played its role in the catastrophe, although no storm warning was announced by weather forecasters, there was a strong squally wind in the disaster area, there was a thunderstorm. According to the survivors of the crash, the height of the waves could reach 2 meters. One of the reasons for the rapid flooding of the vessel could be the fact that the lower portholes on the ship were open, which contributed to the rapid entry of water into the ship. The portholes were open due to the lack of air conditioning on the ship. The low position of the windows and the lack of watertight partitions is one of the special features of the ships of this project.

At present, the prosecutor's office is reviewing the activities of three companies in which documents were already seized: the owner of the Kama River Shipping Company, the tenant Breeze and the subtenant AgroRechTour, and the Russian River Register responsible for issuing certificates of readiness of river vessels for operation.
Rescue work at the shipwreck photo: http://www.mchs.gov.ru/

Already, it can be argued that the cause of the accident could be the deterioration of the machinery and equipment of the vessel, the possible lack of instruction of the crew, and the neglect of safety rules. And two such human qualities as greed - the desire to make money at any cost and indifference, indifference of our citizens. Indicative in terms of greed is the fact that the Kazan company tour operator "IntourVolga" was engaged in selling tickets to a ship that does not have a license to carry passengers. The activities of this tour operator will also be monitored by control authorities.

Indicators of indifference or indifference of our people can be found even more. Many people from the crew to the people who had a chance to sail on this ship knew about the poor state of the ship. Now on the Internet you can find a lot of evidence of people alive and in colors describing the state of the vessel and its "comfort". However, further blogs and forums do not seem to be so. Some people splashed their civic position on the Internet, in essence, having made only half a step, which could not have prevented the tragedy, well, our control bodies of the forums do not read and do not check for such posts if they are not of an “extremist” nature. Other people podmulnuli conclusion about the suitability of the vessel for operation and now they are likely to be very interested in the prosecutor's office and the investigative committee. Others simply showed the height of cynicism. According to the testimony of those who escaped by them, at least 2 of the vessel passed - a barge and a tanker, which did not even attempt to rescue people in the water. Currently, these vessels are installed and work is already underway with their captains. According to the Minister of Transport of Russia, Igor Levitin, the harshest possible punishment measures will be taken against these captains.

It seems that in modern Russia they have completely forgotten about such a concept as prevention. Today we readily heroically overcome the consequences of various man-made disasters, without thinking about how to do so in order to reduce their numbers to a minimum. The facts revealed in the course of their investigation cast doubts on the effectiveness of the work of many ministries and departments, as well as the normality of the existing reality.
Sergey Yufreev
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