Two Die, Ten Rescued as Russian Cargo Ship Sinks in Black Sea, Off Romania

Bartolomej Tomic
Thursday, March 11, 2021

Two people died and ten were rescued after the Russian cargo ship Volgo Balt 179 sank in the Black Sea off Romania early morning on Thursday, according to reports from Romania.

Romanian offshore services company GSP Offshore said that its GSP Falcon offshore vessel had received a distress call from the cargo ship at 4:40 in the morning.

GSP said that the rescue operation started in extremely difficult weather conditions with strong wind and high waves.

"The last message sent by "Volgo Balt 179" was the abandonment of the ship. So far, 10 sailors have been rescued. They are safely on board the GSP Falcon. Two people died. At the same time, another person is being searched for in the sea,“ GSP Offshore said.

According to the Romanian news website Playtech, the cargo ship, which had been en route to the Romanian port of Constanta, sank 70 nautical miles off the coast in the Black Sea, most likely due to the very strong storm.

In a subsequent update, GSP Offshore confirmed the sinking of the Volgo Balt 179. The Romanian company said the ship's crew consisted of 13 people, "12 men and a woman, all Ukrainian citizens."

"The ten rescued people are in the hospital of the GSP Falcon ship and are receiving all the necessary care. One crew member has not been found so far. The rescue operation continues," GSP Offshore said. The company said it would transport the rescued sailors to Port of Constanța, at the end of the rescue operations.

According to data from VesselsValue, the Volgo Balt 179 was built in 1973, with its current commercial controller being Seatrans Consulting, from Russia.

GSP Falcon - Image by GSP Offshore 

Below is a video apparently showing the rescue efforts, shared by on YouTube:

Categories: Europe Vessels Safety & Security Casualties Casualties

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