Turkish RIVER EREGLI rescued by Russian Navy - one more merchant of death?

March 14, 2017 at 03:18 by Mikhail Voytenko in Accidents

General cargo vessel RIVER EREGLI was en route from Burgas Bulgaria to Novorossiysk Russia, when her engines failed, and she started to drift in the afternoon Mar 11 11 nm east of Yalta, Crimea. Vessel issued distress signal at 1400 Moscow time via VHF, but rejected assistance when offered by nearby vessels. One vessel offered evacuation of the crew, another one offered towage, both offers turned down. At 0040 Moscow time Mar 12 vessel drifted aground off Alupka, contacting bottom by a bow. Shipowner’s agent meanwhile, prior to grounding in the evening Mar 11, contacted Russian Navy Command, asking for towage. Navy sent a tug MB-174, which refloated vessel and towed her to Sevastopol, presently main Russian Navy Base in Black sea.
Now, why a rusty bucket would ask Navy Command for a simple towage several dozen miles long, and why Navy Command Headquarters reacted immediately, hurrying to assist in what can be described as trivial accident, with no real danger to crew or the ship? Why vessel’s AIS was off since November 2016? Most probably, vessel is one more merchant of death, engaged in intricate schemes of transporting arms in the region, including notorious Syrian Bridge.

Previous news:
Turkish freighter aground, Black Sea
General cargo vessel RIVER EREGLI ran aground or was spotted aground, on Mar 12 off Alupka, southernmost Crimea, Ukraine, Black sea. Details unknown, vessel was trading in Black sea since late November 2016 with AIS switched off, either because owner was hiding Crimean ports calls, fearing sanctions, or because vessel was involved in contraband traffic, which is flourishing in Crimea since peninsula occupation by Russia. Or both.

On a photo grounded RIVER EREGLI.

Voytenko Mikhail
Mar 14 2017

Turkish RIVER EREGLI rescued by Russian Navy - one more merchant of death?