Wednesday, December 05, 2012 -
12:13:00 AM -
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As of morning Dec 5 search and rescue news are rather confused, but summing it up, 5 seamen from Volgo-Balt 199 were rescued, and 1 dead recovered, 7 are considered to be missing. Still, it’s not clear if all 5 rescued are alive, 1 of them probably died shortly after rescue. Salvage boat Kiyiemniyeti 7 (Callsign TCA2070, length 17 meters), involved in Volgo-Balt 199 S&R, was smashed against a breakwater of Sile harbour, Turkey, in the afternoon of Dec 4. There were five rescuers on board, reportedly three went missing, and two drowned. S&R is to be resumed with the daylight Dec 5, though very small hope remains that there some people still alive, it’s a winter Black sea with a severe storm raging around.
There is little doubt the vessel sank in a very short time due to capsizing after cargo of coal shift. Vessels of river-sea type are flat-bottomed and rather unstable in a rough weather in high seas. They’re restricted by a 50-mile coastal zone sailing only. If such vessel can’t hold on against waves, either because engine is to weak, or failed, in just minutes vessel is turned so its’ side is open to the waves. If there is timber or bulk cargo on board, such a vessel is virtually doomed. I’ve experienced exactly the same mishap working on Volgo-Balt type timber carrier in Japan sea. Our steering failed, almost immediately vessel was turned portside against the waves, but luckily, steering was fixed in several minutes, and we managed to steer back on course.
There are some bad rumours about the owner of the vessel, Valship PE Company from Izmail, Ukraine. I received a letter from my friend Ukrainian seaman with enclosed message from a seaman who was working for some time on board of one of Valship vessels, it was written before the Volgo-Balt 199 tragedy, but it was, in light of dramatic event, prophetic:
Valship operates a bunch of aged river-sea type Czech-built vessels, including Volgo-Balt 193, Volgo-Balt 199, Svyr, Chelsea 4, Twin, Levon, Forward 1, Dundas. Vessels are all in poor condition, crews are having regular problems with delayed and unpaid wages. If you guys are looking for extreme experience and adrenaline rush, then call Valship, 0484148050!
BBC Adriatic AIS shows the vessel changed position and assumingly, managed to move from the coastal shallows to deeper waters, and as of morning Dec 5 is anchored some 2 miles off coast, waiting for weather improve.
Volgo-Balt 199 and BBC Adriatic update. 3 crew rescued.
Reportedly three crew from the sank general cargo vessel Volgo-Balt 199 were rescued, one died shortly after rescue, most probably from hypothermia and shock. Vessel was loaded with coal, most probable cause of the sudden sinking is the capsizing due to cargo shift. BBC Adriatic in a very serious situation, vessel is in ballast and was dragged ashore after engine failure, with both anchors dropped. Vessel reportedly is in ballast, 14 crew is still on board, and judging from the photos, it looks like most safe place at the moment.
General cargo vessel Volgo-Balt 199 sank or sinking in Black sea, all hands missing
General cargo vessel Volgo-Balt 199 sank or sinking in Black sea, 18 nm SE of Istanbul Strait. EPIRB was activated at 1020 LT Dec 4 2012, in position 41 21.39N 029 29.18E, no contacts with the vessel since then. Crew 11 Ukrainians and 1 Russian. Turkey authorities sent to the scene helicopter, salvage boats, all vessels in the area asked to assist in Search and Rescue. General cargo vessel Volgo-Balt 199 IMO 8850279, dwt 3498, built 1976, flag S-Kitts, manager VALSHIP PE, Ukraine.
German freighter BBC Adriatic beached in Black sea by a storm which sank m/v Volgo-Balt 199
German general cargo vessel BBC Adriatic beached by storm near Kumkoy, Black sea coast west of Istanbul Strait, at around 0900 LT Dec 4 2012. Salvage tug and boats sent to the scene, it’s not clear yet if crew is to be evacuated. Photos of the beached BBC Adriatic (some 25 nm off the position where general cargo Volgo-Balt presumably sank at about the same time). General cargo vessel BBC Adriatic IMO 9378230, dwt 6042, built 2008, flag Antigua, manager BRIESE SCHIFFAHRT, Germany.