Large Turkish Cargo Ship Sinking in Croatian Adriatic
The accident happened near the island of Jabuka.
On Sunday morning, June 17, 2018, a major maritime incident occurred near the island of Jabuka on the Croatian side of the Adriatic Sea. Water started entering the engine room on a Turkish cargo ship, and an immediate rescue operation was initiated, in the coordination between the Croatian and Italian sea rescue operations centres. The crew has been saved and no one has been hurt.
The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has announced in a statement that the first news about the accident on the “Haksa” ship was received by the Naval Traffic Control and Management officers in Split at shortly before 4.30 am.
They immediately informed the sea search and rescue centre in Rijeka and provided information that the crew had requested assistance and reported that the sea had penetrated into the underwater part of the cargo ship, which is 85 metres in length and had 13 crew members (11 Turkish nationals and two Indian nationals).
At 4.25 am, the Rijeka centre started broadcasting the information about the incident to all participants in the maritime traffic via coastal radio stations. A coordinated rescue operation was initiated, in co-operation with the sea rescue centre in Italy, since the position of the sinking ship near Jabuka was in an area on the very border of the Croatian territorial sea.
Since the Italian tanker Valcadore was sailing at the time of the accident about four nautical miles from the Turkish vessel’s position, it was diverted to the rescue action and came to the location at 5.10 am.
The Split Port Authority and maritime police vessels also immediately sailed to the incident location, while the Coast Guard was put on standby. Two Italian ships are also sailing to the position of the incident.
The crew evacuation process started at 6.05 am, with the commander of the Turkish cargo vessel opting to remain, with four other crew members, on the sinking vessel as long as it is possible.
No pollution has been detected at the position of the incident, but since the Turkish ship was carrying 3,000 tons of sinter magnetite and contains about 70 tons of fuel and lubricants in the ship’s tanks, the Marine Safety Directorate of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has initiated all protocols to prevent possible pollution of the sea, said the Ministry in the statement.