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Venezuelan OPV challenges cruise ship, rams bow then sinks

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Venezuelan OPV challenges cruise ship, rams bow then sinks

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by Vincent Groizeleau. French version (Un patrouilleur vénézuélien veut arraisonner un paquebot et coule après l’avoir abordé) published online on 3 April 2020. Translated and adapted by Steve Dyson.

Here’s an amazing news story. Had it been reported 24 hours earlier, readers would almost certainly have assumed it was an April fool’s joke. On 30 March, the Naiguatá, an 80-metre offshore patrol vessel inducted into the Venezuelan coast guard in 2012, sank after attempting to divert the cruise ship RCGS Resolute. The Resolute, previously the Hanseatic, was built in Finland in 1991 for German company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. In late 2018 the ship – with accommodation for 184 passengers and a displacement of 8400gt for a length of 122.8m – was sold to Columbia Cruise Services and registered in Portugal for cruises to destinations that include Antarctica thanks to its high-strength hull and ice classification; a detail that will prove important as the story unfolds.