Russian spy ship reported off SC coast ‘operating in unsafe manner’

The Viktor Leonov CCB-175, a Russian Navy intelligence warship, is docked to a pier in Old Havana January 20, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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The Viktor Leonov CCB-175, a Russian Navy intelligence warship, is docked to a pier in Old Havana January 20, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The U.S. Coast Guard is alerting boaters to use caution along the Georgia and Carolina coast because of "erratic" behavior from a Russian Navy intelligence-gathering ship, according to WCIV.

The Coast Guard Sector Charleston safety bulletin said the Russian ship, the RFN Viktor Leonov, has been "operating in an unsafe manner" as it makes its way north from Florida.

USCG in Jacksonville, Florida, initially reported the Leonov over the weekend.

Authorities said the ship and crew were "not energizing running lights while in reduced visibility conditions, not responding to hails by commercial vessels attempting to coordinate safe passage and other erratic movements."

Coast Guard officials said boaters should use extreme caution when near the ship and are encouraged to report any suspicious or unsafe situations.

According to CNN, the Russian ship is frequently along the East Coast conducting surveillance.

The U.S. Navy has several locations along the East Coast, as well, including Kings Bay, Georgia, which houses nuclear-class submarines.

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