MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. The 11-member crew of a Russian vessel, the Nefterudovoz-29, that was hammered by a storm near Turkey’s port of Bartin, have been brought to the shore and are safe now, ex-Director of MBS-Shipping (the vessel’s operator) Konstantin Shcherbina told TASS.
According to Shcherbina, back when he was the company’s director, he manned this vessel from Azov to Turkey carrying cast iron, and now he is in direct contact with the vessel’s captain.
"All 11 crewmembers have been rescued and brought to the shore. The vessel that stood at roadstead on two anchors was torn away by the storm and is being carried to shore, with two miles left to go. If the Turkish rescue services do not do anything, it may run aground," Shcherbina cautioned. He specified that "the vessel is insured by the Sogaz company, and the insurance company’s representatives have been notified about the current situation."
"The Nefterudovoz-29 delivered cargoes of cast iron to the port of Bartin (Turkey) from Azov. Then it remained off this harbor for a month. The new ship owner decided to sell the vessel, and it had to be towed to Rostov-on-Don.
The new director of MBS-Shipping took this position this past October.
Inspector from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in Novorossiisk Olga Ananina told TASS that the Nefterudovoz 29M vessel had been checked in Varna this past August, and defects were revealed then, but the ship did not stop. In addition, according to the inspector, the operating company often had problems with payment of salaries to its crews. "The vessel was built in the 1970s; such ships have accidents in the Black Sea each year when storms start, according to statistics. It’s good people have been saved," Ananina added.
The crew may be taken to the cargo carrier as the weather is improving, a source in MBS-Shipping (the vessel’s operator) told TASS.
According to earlier reports, a helicopter carried the bulk carrier crew of 11 people to the shore. No victims were reported.
"The weather in Turkey’s Bartin Port is improving, and the Turkish authorities are considering the possibility to return the Nefterudovoz-29 crew to the bulk carrier," the source said, noting that he does not know how it will be done. "By helicopter, or if the weather allows to approach a vessel in some watercraft, I don’t know," the source said.