Four dead, three missing after freighter breaks in two in Black Sea off Turkey

Arvin (Photo: GEORGE)

Four people were killed and three others have gone missing after a commercial vessel broke in two and sank in the Black Sea just off northern Turkey’s Bartin province on Sunday, January 17.

The Palau-flagged general cargo vessel Arvin was sailing from Georgia to Bulgaria with a crew of 13 Ukrainian nationals and a cargo of fertiliser totalling 2,900 tonnes when it encountered rough weather off the Turkish coast.

The captain was manoeuvring the vessel towards a shelter area near the coast when it was struck by a large wave amidships at around 12:35 local time, causing it to split in two and sink within minutes.

Turkish officials said that the ship’s lifeboat was launched and that some of the crew donned life jackets and jumped into the water shortly afterward. However, bad weather had prevented local search and rescue (SAR) boats and helicopters from reaching the area until the morning of Monday, January 18.

Four of Arvin‘s crew, including the 37-year-old captain, were later found dead while six survivors were evacuated from the area and brought to shore to undergo medical examinations. The survivors have since been turned over to Ukrainian embassy officials and are due to fly home in the coming days.

The search is still ongoing for three crewmembers who remain missing even as the area continues to experience snowstorms that prevent the use of boats and helicopters.

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