Russian intelligence ship sinks off Turkey's Black Sea coast

A Russian naval intelligence ship sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast on Thursday after colliding with a vessel carrying livestock and all 78 personnel on board the navy ship were evacuated, Turkish officials said.

The rescued crew members of the Russian ship Liman were in good health after the collision with the Togo-flagged Youzarsif H, Turkey's Transport Minister Ahmed Arslan said.

The incident took place in fog and low visibility 18 miles (29 km) from Kilyos village on the Black Sea coast just north of Istanbul.

Turkish authorities dispatched a tugboat and three fast rescue vessels, the coastal safety authority said.

Advisers to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim conveyed his sadness over the incident to Russian counterparts, according to sources in his office.

Relations between the two countries have suffered from political disputes over the civil war in Syria, where Moscow and Ankara support different factions.

Russian warships frequently pass through the narrow Bophorus Strait, which cuts through Istanbul, on their way from the Black Sea to Syria's Mediterranean coast.

A spokesman for Hammami Livestock which owns the Youzarsif H said there had been no loss of life on board the vessel. "It is considered a slight hit, for us,” he told Reuters in Lebanon, adding he had no information about the cause of the collision.

“We don’t know our losses yet, but thank God there is no loss of life - neither from our side nor from the other ship," he said, adding the livestock carrier was heading to Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba from Romania.

The Youzarsif H was built in 1977 and has a capacity of 2,418 tonnes, according to Thomson Reuters shipping data.

The Bosphorus, which cuts through Istanbul, is one of the world's most important waterways for transit of oil and grains. The 17-mile waterway connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.

When the collision took place, at 11.45 am (0845 GMT), the Bosphorus had already been closed to shipping because of the poor visibility, shipping agency GAC said.

Turkish Navy's patrol boat TCG Tekirdag arrives at the Bosphorus Command headquarters following a resque operation in the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer 1/2leftright 2/2leftright 1/2



Russian intelligence ship sinks off Turkey's Black Sea coast after collision, authorities say

A Russian naval intelligence ship has sunk off Turkey's Black Sea coast after colliding with a vessel carrying livestock, Turkey's coastal safety authority says.

The ship, identified as the Liman, collided with the Togo-flagged Youzarsif H, the coastal safety authority said on its website.

Turkish authorities dispatched a tugboat and three fast rescue vessels, it said.

All 78 people on board the intelligence ship were evacuated, authorities said.

Turkish shipping agency GAC said separately that the collision was caused by fog and low visibility.

Broadcaster NTV said the collision happened 29 kilometres from Kilyos village, on the Black Sea coast just north of Istanbul.

Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, which cuts through Istanbul, is one of the world's most important waterways for transit of oil and grains.

The 27-kilometre waterway connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.


Russian navy intelligence ship sinks after collision with freighter off Turkish coast

ISTANBUL — A Russian naval intelligence ship sank Thursday after colliding with a merchant freighter in foggy conditions on the Black Sea near Istanbul, the Turkish coast guard said. All 78 crew members on the Russian vessel were rescued.

The crew of the freighter Youzarsif H, a Togo-flagged ship traveling from Romania to Jordan with a cargo of 8,800 sheep, was unharmed, and the ship suffered slight damage to its bow, according to local media reports.

In Moscow, Russia’s Defense Ministry issued a statement confirming that the vessel, the Liman, went down after the collision tore a hole in the hull below the waterline.

Russian officials did not immediately provide any information about the Liman’s mission. The Russian state-run Sputnik news agency reported in 2016 that the Liman had been deployed in the Black Sea to monitor the Sea Breeze naval exercises involving Ukraine and several NATO countries, including the United States. Russian officials had complained that the exercises were a provocation.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to express “sadness,” Turkey’s semiofficial Anadolu news agency reported.

Russia and Turkey have developed increasingly warm ties over the past year, putting aside bitter differences over the war in Syria to cooperate on brokering a political solution to the conflict. The relationship reached a low point in 2015, when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that Ankara said had crossed the Syrian border and entered Turkish airspace.

The collision Thursday occurred about 20 miles northwest of the Bosporus, one of the world’s busiest waterways, which connects the Black Sea to the shipping lanes leading to the Mediterranean.

At the time of the accident, the Bosporus was closed because of poor visibility, the Reuters news agency reported, citing the shipping agency GAC.

The Liman had also previously been deployed for three months to the Mediterranean near Syria, where Russia is in the second year of an intervention backing President Bashar al-Assad against a wide array of rebel groups, including Islamist fighters and others with U.S. backing.

Ship spotters in the Bosporus photographed the ship traversing the strait near Istanbul under heavy snow in January.

It is not clear whether the ship was headed toward Syria on Thursday.

The Liman was built as a hydrographic survey vessel in the Gdansk shipyards in Poland in 1970 and was converted for military service in 1989, shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union. The ship is outfitted to capture electronic-signals intelligence using an array of Soviet and Russian-made sensors for which the ship was retrofitted.

0 Response to "Russian intelligence ship sinks off Turkey's Black Sea coast"