On March 30th, the Venezuelan Coast Guard ship NaiguatÃ¡ lost a naval action it initiated against RCGS Resolute, a German-owned cruise ship sailing under the Portuguese flag. The Jerusalem Post has the hilarious details.
Columbia Cruise Services, the Hamburg-based company that owns the RCGS RESOLUTE, issued a statement on Wednesday: â€œIn the early morning hours of the 30th of March 2020 (local time), the cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE has been subject to an act of aggression by the Venezuelan Navy in international waters, around 13.3 nautical miles from Isla de Tortuga with 32 crew member and no passengers on board.â€
The company added that â€œWhen the event occurred, the cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE has already been drifting for one day off the coast of the island to conduct some routine engine maintenance on its idle voyage to its destination, Willemstad/ CuraÃ§ao. As maintenance was being performed on the starboard main engine, the port main engine was kept on standby to maintain a safe distance from the island at any time.â€
Columbia Cruise Services continued, stating that â€œShortly after mid-night, the cruise vessel was approached by an armed Venezuelan navy vessel, which via radio questioning the intentions of the RCGS RESOLUTEâ€™s presence and gave the order to follow to Puerto Moreno on Isla De Margarita. As the RCGS RESOLUTE was sailing in international waters at that time, the Master wanted to reconfirm this particular request resulting into a serious deviation from the scheduled vesselâ€™s route with the company DPA.â€
According to the statement, â€œWhile the Master was in contact with the head office, gun shots were fired and, shortly thereafter, the navy vessel approached the starboard side at speed with an angle of 135Â° and purposely collided with the RCGS RESOLUTE. The navy vessel continued to ram the starboard bow in an apparent attempt to turn the shipâ€™s head towards Venezuelan territorial waters.â€
The cruise company said the RCGS RESOLUTE sustained minor damages, not affecting vesselâ€™s seaworthiness, it occurs that the navy vessel suffered severe damages while making contact with the ice-strengthened bulbous bow of the ice-class expedition cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE and started to take water.â€
The NaiguatÃ¡ subsequently sunk.
Joseph Trevithick notes:
The 403-foot-long Resolute, which is flagged in Portugal, reportedly had a gross tonnage of around 8,445 tons at the time. The ship was laid down in September 1990 and completed in June 1991. Intended for Antarctic cruises, it has a reinforced ice-capable hull.
The NaiguatÃ¡, which is just over 262 feet long, is a Guaicamacuto class offshore patrol vessel and displaces around 1,720 tons with a full load.
I was puzzled trying to remember the last Portuguese naval victory. I think it may have been the Action of 1 February 1625, when the Portuguese defeated a combined Anglo-Dutch Fleet retaining control of the Persian Gulf.
Give that Captain the Military Order of St. James of the Sword!