Turkish cargo ship hits mine in Black Sea, Reuters says. Ukrainian Navy denies
On Thursday, October 5, a Turkish cargo ship reportedly hit a mine in the Black Sea off the coast of Romania. The Ukrainian Navy doesn't confirm this
Reuters reported this citing maritime and security sources.
Based on intelligence obtained by the British maritime security firm Ambrey, the ship hit a sea mine 11 nautical miles north of Sulina, Romania, close to the Sulina Canal entry.
"The vessel reportedly experienced an explosion at approximately 0920 UTC (GMT). The vessel dropped anchor for a short period to assess the damage," Ambrey stated in a report.
Ambrey also noted that at 1210, the vessel resumed sailing with no reported casualties.
It was one of the first instances of a ship striking a sea mine in a few months. Insurance companies have identified the Black Sea region as a high risk area, and floating mines continue to pose a threat.
An official from the Ukrainian government acknowledged that a ship had hit a mine, but declined to go into detail, saying that it was "probably a World War II mine, or the landing mines that were left there last year".
Yoruk Isik, head of the Bosphorus Observer consulting company, said that despite minor damage to the ballast tank, the crew remained safe. The vessel's operator could not immediately be contacted for comments. However, tracking of the vessel showed that it had dropped anchor in the Danube Canal.
In July, Russia reneged on a U.N.-backed agreement that had permitted Ukraine to transport grain through a secure shipping route. Since then, Ukraine has established a temporary "humanitarian corridor" for cargo ships, and since August, a number of ships have departed Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
Reuters noted the British government’s words that Russia may deploy naval mines to target civilian vessels in the Black Sea, including by laying them on the approach to Ukrainian ports.
The event happened on the same day that the company "informed its clients of a likely additional sea mine deployment by the Russian navy conducted to frustrate Ukraine's grain exports," according to Ambrey.
At the same time, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Navy, Dmytro Pletenchuk, denied this information in a comment to Suspilne.
"Such information has been circulating, but... we do not confirm it. Everything was inspected, there was no damage, no explosion, the information is not true," he said.
- On September 20, the cargo ship Seama exploded in the Black Sea at a distance of about 40 km from the Romanian coast, probably due to a collision with a mine. The crew was rescued.