MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. A search effort for sailors missing after two vessels caught fire in the Black Sea was resumed on Wednesday, the Russian Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport’s press service told TASS.
Earlier reports said out of 32 sailors who were onboard the tankers, 12 have been rescued, and the bodies of 10 others have been found. A search for 10 more sailors is ongoing.
"The operation has been resumed," a spokesperson said.
A local department of the maritime rescue service told TASS that the Merkury tow boat, which brought the sailors to Crimea’s Kerch on Tuesday, was also returning to the accident scene. "Merkury is heading to the fire scene, it will be involved in searching [for the sailors] and extinguishing the fire," a spokesperson said.
A special vessel, Spasatel Demidov, is continuing the effort to put out the fire, which is still underway. The ships have not sunk because their important parts remain intact.
On January 21, a fire broke out onboard two vessels near the Kerch Strait off Russia’s territorial waters. According to preliminary data, the incident presumably occurred when fuel was being pumped from one ship to the other.
One of the vessels, the Candy, had a crew of 17, including nine Turkish citizens and eight Indian nationals. The other one, the Maestro, had a crew of 15 consisting of Turkish and Indian citizens. According to preliminary data, both ships are owned by Turkey’s company Milenyum Denizcilik Gemi.