Two dead, one missing after cargo ship sinks in storm in Black Sea off Romania

Volgo Balt 179 (Photo: boler)

Two people are confirmed dead while a third has gone missing after a cargo ship sank in storm-hit waters in the Black Sea off the coast of Romania on Thursday, March 11.

The Comoros-flagged Volgo Balt 179 had earlier departed Rostov-on-Don, Russia, and was en route to Constanța when it sank in an area beset by four-metre waves and 25-knot winds 70 nautical miles off the coast.

At 04:40 local time, the crew sent out a distress call. One of the vessels that deployed in response to the call was GSP Falcon, a dive support vessel (DSV) operated by Romanian offshore services company Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP).

Minutes after the first distress call was sent, Volgo Balt 179‘s crew sent out a radio call saying that they were abandoning ship.

The DSV arrived at the scene and eventually pulled 10 survivors and two deceased crewmembers out of the water.

Volgo Balt 179‘s crew of 13 were all Ukrainian nationals. This number included one female crewmember, who was also among the rescued survivors.

GSP said the cargo vessel’s lone female crewmember suffered serious injuries and thus had to be airlifted to a hospital in Constanța.

The nine other survivors were in good health, GSP added. They remained aboard GSP Falcon and were later offloaded in Constanța.

The Romanian Navy, the Romanian Coast Guard, and local search and rescue (SAR) agency ARSVOM subsequently took over the effort to locate the missing sailors as GSP Falcon left the area to transport the survivors to shore.

The search operation was still ongoing as of Saturday, March 13.

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