Eight crew members of Turkish cargo ship Haksa have been evacuated after the freighter started sinking while underway in the Adriatic Sea, around 16 nautical miles off Croatia’s Jabuka Island, the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia said on Sunday.
The distress call was sent early Sunday morning at around 04.00 a.m. after the ship started taking on water, which flooded the ship’s engine room.
Croatian and Italian rescue agencies launched a coordinated rescue operation and alerted all vessels in the vicinity of the incident.
Italian-flagged tanker Valcadorea, which was the closest to the site, rerouted and managed to reach the stricken ship shortly in order to evacuate the crew.
Eight crew members of the total of thirteen, 11 Turkish and two Indian nationals, were evacuated. However, the ship’s captain and four more crew members remained on board the vessel to try to keep it afloat until rescue units arrive.
As disclosed, the evacuated crew members were taken to Split, Croatia.
The ministry said that there was no maritime pollution detected, however, as the ship is transporting 3,000 tons of sinter magnesite and contains 70 tons of fuel and lubricant oil, response crews were put ‘on standby’ in order to curb and prevent any potential pollution from the cargo ship.
Diver teams sent to the scene in the afternoon determined that the ship suffered damages to the rear port side of its hull. The ruptured hull was temporarily sealed and the water ingress successfully stopped, the ministry informed in an update.
As a result, it was decided to tow the troubled vessel to Brodotrogir shipyard in Trogir for repairs.
World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure