LPG tankers fire still on. Why Kerch Strait turned into death zone.
Both moored tankers, still on fire, started to drift towards Crimean coast just south of Kerch Strait, in the morning Jan 24. Understood later, during the day, salvors managed to anchor MAESTRO, so both ships were stationary in Crimean waters inside 12-nm zone. CANDY meanwhile, broke off her remaining moorings and resumed drifting towards Crimean coast, still engulfed in flames – fire on board CANDY was much stronger than that on board of MAESTRO, because CANDY had most of LPG lot, which was to be transferred to MAESTRO. SAR tug SPASATEL DEMIDOV managed to take CANDY on tow and tow her further off to Black sea, outside 12-nm zone.
Returning to Reuters “news” on MAESTRO ban on calling Russian ports, namely Temryuk – MAESTRO called Temryuk, notwithstanding sanctions, at least twice in Sep-Dec last year. As I said before, transshipment was a cargo laundering, not an attempt to avoid port call ban – how and why, then, CANDY called Temryuk, if she’s under sanctions, too? Too much for Reuters to dig into, and to understand what’s on, I guess.
It must be said also, that during last year or two accidents statistics in Crimean waters and in Kerch Strait sky-rocketed, with growing number of major accidents, which claimed human lives. The root cause of accidents hike is the status of Crimea and emergence of gray-black zone in these waters, ideal for cargo laundering. I wouldn’t be surprised if that Kerch Strait murderous triangle is covertly visited by the ships and cargoes, which have nothing to do with Crimea or Russia, simply because Kerch Strait and its’ anchorages turned into ideal spots for dubious and illegal STS operations.
Local authorities, especially Crimean Maritime Authorities, remain blissfully blind, and probably, duly rewarded for their blindness. When there’s an emergency or major accident, they simply repeat their mantra – it was outside 12-nm zone, therefore outside our zone of responsibility, which is in itself, an blatant lie.
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