A Georgian-flagged fishing vessel that caught fire in the waters off West Africa last week finally sank two days after the incident began.
On the night (local time) of Sunday, July 21, the Ukrainian-owned trawler Ivan Golubets slipped beneath the waves and ended up at a depth of 35 metres off the coast of Mauritania.
The captain had earlier given the order to abandon ship after the crew were unable to contain the blaze which had originated in the engine room.
Since no dedicated search and rescue (SAR) assets were available at the time, the only vessels capable of rendering assistance to the distressed crew were other trawlers operating in the area.
Ukrainian and Russian officials have confirmed that the incident has left two Ukrainian crewmembers dead, including one who had initially been reported as missing, but have provided no other details on the condition of the survivors.
Ivan Golubets had earlier come under scrutiny from Ukrainian authorities after it was reported to have inexplicably switched off its AIS transmitter while at sea ten days prior to the incident.
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