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Romanian authorities rescue crew after explosion on cargo ship in Black Sea

by Elsa Court September 20, 2023 11:22 AM 1 min read
An image of the rescue operation published by the Romanian Agency for Saving Human Life at Sea (ARSVOM) on Sept. 20, 2023. (ARSVOM Constanta / Facebook) 
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The crew of a cargo ship in the Black Sea has been evacuated following an explosion, the Romanian maritime search and rescue organization ARSVOM reported on Sept. 20.

The cargo ship SEAMA was off the coast of Sulina, a port in Tulcea County near the Ukrainian border, when ARSVOM picked up an emergency signal at around 06:50 a.m. local time.

The crew was evacuated between 07:20 and 07:30 a.m., ARSVOM said.

Dan Ichim, the chief captain of the Tulcea Port Authority, said that all 12 crew members had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment.

CNN reported that the crew believed the ship had hit a mine, but the cause of the explosion has not yet been confirmed by the Romanian authorities.

Tulcea Port Authority has started an investigation into the cause of the incident, Ichim said, adding that "whether the explosion was due to a mine remains to be determined by the Defense Ministry."

The SEAMA, flying the flag of Togo, had departed from the Turkish port of Bartin on the Black Sea on Sept. 11, according to the ship tracking website MarineTraffic.

Minister: First ship with Ukrainian grain leaves Black Sea port through temporary corridor
The Palau-flagged Resilient Africa bulk carrier loaded with 3,000 metric tons of wheat has left the Black Sea port of Chornomorsk and is moving towards the Bosphorus, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov reported on Sept. 19.

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