Plucky sailor says it was nothing personal
Taras Ostapchuk, 55, may not get many crewing jobs in the near future, but he will return home from Spain as a national hero after almost sinking the $7-million superyacht of his Russian boss.
The Ukraine sailor was arrested by Spanish police in Mallorca after reportedly partly flooding the vessel, Lady Anastasia, and causing it to partially sink at its shallow berth, according to multiple news reports published worldwide. Ostapchuk spent a night in jail, but then returned to the Ukraine where he intends to enlist in his country’s war against Russia.
“All Ukrainian citizens must be defenders of our fatherland because it is being subject to Russian aggression,” Ostapchuk told the Associated Press. “We must stop this war,” Ostapchuk said.
Pictures of a defiant Ostapchuk flashed across the world shortly after his release, accompanied by his justification for his actions. “I told myself: ‘What do I need a job for if I don’t have a country?’ ” he reportedly told the Spanish newspaper Ultima Hora.
Ostapchuk said his actions were purely political and prompted by the unfolding situation in Ukraine. He told journalists his boss was Alexander Mikheev, the CEO of a division of Russia’s state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec. ‘Politics is a thing that changes quickly and so when last week I saw the video of the Russian helicopter shooting missiles at a civilian house in Kyiv I knew I had to do something,” he told MailOnline. “.’I know that Mijeev is the person responsible for making these helicopters and after I saw that video, I thought I have a house like that and it may be hit by a missile so I wanted to take action.
‘What I do want to say is that Mijeev was a good employer and I have no complaints about working for him – it was just the situation with Russia that wound me up,” he told MailOnline.
Ostapchuk told authorities he had alerted his fellow Ukranian crew members, some of who had alerted marina management, AP reported. By the time staff could intervene the 48m-long vessel was partially submerged.