Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Cargo Ship Founders in the Baltic with Six Lives Lost

Major Rescue Operation Saves Seven
Shipping News Feature
TURKEY – There was a tragedy 80 nautical miles off the Turkish coast at Samsun yesterday morning (7 January) when a distress call was received from the coal carrier Volgo Balt 214 which subsequently sank after apparently splitting in two when in rough seas. Unfortunately six crew members, including the captain, perished before any help could arrive. The nationalities of the dead are not known at this point.

The remaining seven crew from a complement originally stated as two from Azerbaijan, nine Ukrainians and two Russians, were rescued, the Russian Embassy have since said there were 9 Ukrainians and no Russian personnel aboard and this seems to be confirmed with Ukraine's Ambassador to Turkey, Andreii Szbiha, saying:

”Weather conditions drowned a commercial ship. Of 13 crew members, 11 were citizens of Ukraine. Appropriate measures were promptly taken by the security guard. Unfortunately, we failed to save four of our compatriots."

The distress call at around 08:00 local time precipitated a major rescue operation by the Turkish coast guard which involved an aeroplane, three helicopters and two vessels.

The Volgo Balt 214, built in 1978 and flagged in Panama was sailing loaded with coal from Azov, Russia heading for Samsun when she met her end in the Baltic Sea. The vessel appears to have been operated by an Istanbul company, Orbital Ship Management, but owned by a group in the Seychelles Baltwave 214 Ltd.

Photo: One of the rescued crew being helped from the helicopter which picked him up.