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Investigation Committee conducts investigation after accident during youth regatta in Gelendzhik

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Investigative authorities of the Southern Transport Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation conduct an inquest into the situation that occurred on November 5. During the youth regatta in Gelendzhik( Krasnodar Region) a stormy wind laid about 20 yachts of the participants in the waters of the Blue Bay. It was reported by the press-service of the South Department of Investigation.

The 28th youth regatta started in the city on November 1 and was to last until November 8. There were 662 participants fromRussia, Belarus andArmenia at the age of 9 years old. According to the organizers of the regatta, they didn't get a storm warning on November 5, so they didn't cancel the competition. But some witnesses say that the fishing boats in the bay were still advised not to put out to sea that day.

The wind changed direction and picked up suddenly, the boats of teenagers, some of whom were finishing one of the stages of the competition, and some were preparing to start, scattered in the bay. Some began to be carried away into the sea. Some yachts were capsized because of strong gusts, others had their sails torn.

«Being under the boat, under the water, I thought I was going to die! But the yacht was swept away from me 15 metres into the water,»," recalls one of the participants in a Facebook group of the regatta.

Those participants, who could not cope with the handling in such conditions and return to the shore, were evacuated to the coaches' and judges' escort vessels. The help of the Ministry of Emergency Situations was not required.

As a result of the accident, no one was seriously injured. Four people went to the doctors with low temperatures to rule out the possibility of hypothermia. One 19-year-old girl got her nose broken. Almost all the abandoned boats in the water area were returned to their owners within the next day.

The possibility of resumption of the competitions in Gelendzhik's water area is still in question. At the meeting of the Class Association «Optimist» «which was held in the town, the President of the All-Russian Sailing Federation Vladimir Silkin stated that he would take all possible measures to close this outrageous regatta».

However, according to witnesses, such a radical decision did not find support among the audience.

«The audience was indignant, which greatly discouraged the speaker. He was clearly waiting for approval, and it made everything look even more ridiculous», - Natalia Fedorova, director of sport sailing school «Krestovsky island», who was present at the meeting, told on her Facebook page.

Representatives of Samara team who participated in the regatta this year, are also in favor of continuing the competition.

«Generally speaking, nothing extraordinary happened, the regatta must be continued. I only hope that appropriate organizations, as well as some coaches will make appropriate conclusions about what happened. Well done to our children! » - reads the message posted in the team's Facebook group.
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