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Russian Fisherman Stranded And Penniless In Fiji

August 21, 1992

SUVA, Fiji (AP) _ Fifty-six Russian crew members on a trawler are stranded in Fiji after catching few fish and running out of money.

Capt. Boris Klimenko said the 3,000-ton Akademik Knipovich arrived in the South Pacific in May but found the fishing poor.

Klimenko said the ship, moored in the capital, Suva, ran out of food two weeks ago, and crew members have relied on handouts from the local seaman’s mission, which is asking for public donations to support the Russians.

The crew members are worried about how they will get home.

Klimenko said he contacted the nearest Russian embassy, in Canberra, Australia, but was told ″they could not help because they had no money″ either.

Australian Associated Press reported that an Australian-registered company, Pontac Propriety Limited, bought the ship from the Moscow-based Neptune Associates last fall.

Pontac spokeswoman Catherine Jennings said Neptune was to deliver the ship to Suva, where it was to be operated by Fijian fishermen, and return the Russian crew to Moscow. She said Pontac is negotiating to sell the ship to another company and use some of the proceeds to send the Russians home.

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