Ali Najafov tanker - Credit: Tony Withers/MarineTraffic.com

Tanker Hits Mine in Black Sea

A Liberian-flagged oil products tanker hit a mine on Sunday in the Black Sea off the coast of Romania and sustained minor damage, but the crew was safe, sources said on Monday.

It is the second vessel this month to have been hit by a floating mine in the Black Sea, in a reminder of the continued perils faced by commercial ships in the region.

The Ali Najafov tanker was sailing near to the Sulina channel near Romania when the blast occurred on Sunday, Yoruk Isik, head of the Bosphorus Observer consultancy, told Reuters.

A Ukrainian source separately confirmed the vessel had struck a mine.

The vessel’s Istanbul-based manager Palmali, listed in shipping databases, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The vessel’s last position on Monday was in the shipping channel near Yermakov Island in the Danube, according to ship tracking and maritime analytics provider MarineTraffic.

The latest blast was also reported by Ukrainian media.

Russia pulled out of a U.N.-backed deal in July that had allowed Ukraine to ship grains through a safe shipping channel.

Since then, Ukraine has set up a temporary “humanitarian corridor” for cargo vessels, and several ships have left Ukrainian Black Sea ports since August.

(Reuters – Reporting by Jonathan Saul and Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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