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Soviet Captain Freed After Posting Bail In Tugboat Sinking

June 25, 1986

PIRAEUS, Greece (AP) _ Authorities on Tuesday released a Soviet cruise ship skipper charged with manslaughter following the sinking of a Greek tugboat last week, said a spokesman for the District Attorney’s office here.

The Soviet captain, Constantin Saposkin, posted bail of 1 million drachmas ($7,142) after being charged with manslaughter and shipwreck and was permitted to leave Greece, said the spokesman, who asked not to be identified.

He said no trial date has been set.

The 23,000-ton Soviet cruise ship Fedor Shalyapin collided last Friday with the 137-ton tugboat Armadores II, which was towing the Soviet vessel out of the Piraeus harbor. One of the tug’s five-member crew, Vassilis Houzouris, 32, was trapped in the engine room and drowned as the vessel sank.

Saposkin said in his testimony that he did not understand what the Greek pilot aboard the Fedor Shalyapin was telling him.

The Soviet cruise ship, operated by the Black Sea Shipping Co. in Odessa, left for the Turkish port of Kusadasi on Sunday with 356 passengers and 350 crew members.

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