- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Romanian Ship Encounters Naval Mine in Black Sea, Prompts Rescue Operation
A Romanian ship has reportedly struck a naval mine in the Black Sea, leading to a rescue operation conducted by the Romanian Maritime Rescue Agency (MRCC), as revealed by CNN. The explosion caused by the mine has not yet been officially confirmed by Romanian authorities.
The MRCC successfully rescued all 12 crew members on board the vessel named Seama, which was registered under the flag of Togo, a West African state. After their rescue, the crew members received medical attention and were transported to the port of Sulina, located near Ukraine.
Initial reports indicate that the crew reported the mine strike, which is believed to have occurred approximately 40 kilometers off the coastline. However, Romanian authorities have not disclosed the specific cause of the explosion, as reported by CNN.
Fleetmon, a service that tracks ships and provides maritime news, reported that the ship’s crew issued a distress signal at around 06:50 local time on Wednesday. The ship’s tracking device last transmitted its position at 5 a.m. local time. While photographs suggest that the vessel has not sunk, it is reportedly taking on water, which increases the risk of it eventually sinking.
The Seama had originally been scheduled to depart from a Turkish port on September 12, with its destination set for the Ukrainian port of Izmail. Izmail is a critical hub for the export of Ukrainian grain and other products and has been a frequent target of Russian attacks.
In recent weeks, debris from three Russian drones, suspected of targeting the Ukrainian port of Izmail, have fallen onto Romanian territory. Authorities in the Romanian city of Galati have issued warnings to residents regarding the drone debris, advising them to seek shelter in cellars or bunkers during such incidents. The Romanian air force identified the drone debris scattered over a wide area in the Tulcea region, across the river from the Ukrainian city of Izmail, where Russian drone strikes have previously damaged port infrastructure.
The incident with the Seama underscores the complex and potentially hazardous maritime environment in the Black Sea, which has been a focal point of geopolitical tensions in recent years.
Article by Prague Forum