Turkey abandons salvage efforts on sunken cargo ship

Image: hurriyet.com.tr
Image: hurriyet.com.tr

Local authorities in Turkey have permanently ceased all attempts to salvage and refloat a cargo ship that had run aground and become partially submerged near Istanbul in December of last year.

The Comoros-flagged dry cargo vessel Natalia had ended up on a shallow area in the waters off the city of Şile after being swept about by large waves caused by stormy weather on December 19, 2018. All 16 of the vessel’s crew were eventually rescued.

Salvage efforts finally commenced in May after the Turkish government approved a refloating plan that was drafted upon the completion of the Şile harbour master’s investigation into the incident.

However, after only four months, the authorities decided to abandon their attempts to remove Natalia from the grounding site when it became apparent that the water ingress that the vessel had been experiencing over time could no longer be controlled.

The water ingress was reportedly caused by a steadily growing number of leaks in Natalia‘s cargo compartments and its double bottom ballast tanks.

The vessel is now almost completely submerged and has been declared a scrap heap as well as a hazard to navigation in the area.

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