Kapitan Man / Russian Ship / Puget Sound, WA / April 4, 1997 12:30PM
Subcue: Describe activity around ship and on deck.
Allegations have been made that the Kapitan Man (Russian-registry 19,864-dwt ro/ro built in 1985, operated by Far Eastern Shipping Co.), operating in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington, used a laser against a Canadian Air Command CH-124A Sea King on 4 April, 1997. The two aboard, a Canadian Air Command pilot (Capt. Patrick Barnes) and a U.S. Navy officer (Lt. Jack Daly), reportedly suffered eye burns. The two were temporarily blinded at midday eight kilometers/five miles northwest of Port Angeles, Wash. The ship was searched at Tacoma, Wash., by the U.S. Coast Guard on 7 April, on its route between Tacoma, Los Angeles and Vladivostok, Russia. Nothing was found. Protests have been made with the Russian government. Allegations say that the ship was a "spy vessel," recording the transit of the U.S. Navy's lead vessel of the U.S.S. Ohio (SSBN 726)-class Nuclear-powered Ballistic Missile Submarine, based at Bangor, Wash. The Kapitan Man has an unusually large number of antennas aboard.