The crew onboard general cargo vessel VYSOS (IMO: 9385790), flying the Panama flag, is safe, after an explosion of unknown nature, according to the Greek Ministry of Shipping, local media reported. The ship is owned and managed by companies based in Athens.
According to the Ministry of Shipping, the vessels condition will be assessed in the port of Izmail, Ukraine, Greek portal “Efsyn” reported.
The publication recalls that yesterday Ukraine announced that the vessel hit a drifting mine in the waters of the Black Sea.
“The ship hit a Russian mine [near the approach to the Bystre channel] at 8:05 on December 27,” said the head of the Odessa Regional Prosecutor’s Office Igor Domuschay, according to “Dumskaya”.
These words of Domuschay cannot be independently confirmed, but they became the reason for the spread of likely inaccurate information by a number of media.
A check of open sources for the hydrometeorological conditions in the Black Sea over the past two or three weeks shows that it is very unlikely that the drifting mine, if the incident with VYSOS is such, is from a Russian mine barrier.
At the beginning of the month, the Russian Security Council warned of increased mine danger due to several cyclones that passed over the Black Sea.
Also yesterday, Ukrainian media reported that three people were injured, including that a seafarer from the crew was admitted to a local hospital. Today, the Greek Ministry of Shipping emphasizes that the 74-year-old captain and a 59-year-old AB were slightly injured, and there is no danger to their lives.
The information spread by Ukraine that the vessel’s cook was seriously injured is inaccurate, according to sources of Maritime.bg in the charter company of the vessel.
There were no other injured seafarers from the 18-member crew – citizens of Egypt, Turkey and Greece.
Satellite images to which Maritime.bg has access show a probable spill in the area where VYSOS was grounded.
Recently, Romania warned that Ukraine’s activities in the Bystroye channel, which was deepened to ensure growth in shipping and the export of agricultural products from the country, could endanger wildlife in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and violate international environmental agreements.
Ukrainian institutions have not commented on the potential pollution, nor is there any public information about anti-pollution measures taken or an assessment of its impact on the Danube Biosphere Reserve.
Since the beginning of the military conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the two sides have been spreading inaccurate information about the maritime industry, the course of military operations at the Black sea.