Technical problems onboard a 249-meter-long oil tanker have led to a suspension of traffic in the Bosphorus, provoking a major rescue operation and conjuring uneasy memories of the Suez Canal blockage earlier this year.
The crude oil tanker RAVA started drifting towards the shore in the Bosphorus – a key transport artery in connecting the Black and Aegean Seas – on Friday.
Tanker kıyıya sürüklenince Boğaz’da trafik askıya alındı. Biz de olayları canlı izledik.🛸📺🔗Traffic was suspended on the Bosphorus when the tanker was dragged to the shore. We also watched the events live.😲#bhosphorus#istanbul🇹🇷 #livepic.twitter.com/1cld9h2zHW
— Esra Abacioğlu Akcan (@sopranoakcan) May 28, 2021
The massive vessel, which reportedly suffered a malfunction with its controls, was only stopped by the intervention of tugboats some 300 meters from the beach, Turkey’s Directorate General of Coastal Safety (KEGM) said. The rescue operation involved eight tugs and five smaller vessels, it added.
KEGM later posted a video on Twitter of Rava oil tanker being towed by the tugboats.
Sahile 300 metre kala durdurulan tankere, KURTARMA 8 Römorkörümüz ve KEGM 5 hızlı tahlisiye (can kurtarma) botumuz da acil olarak yönlendirildi. İstanbul Boğazı trafiği askıya alındı. pic.twitter.com/bXXDSKcVhB
— KEGM (@kiyiemniyet) May 28, 2021
Traffic in the Bosphorus, also known as the Strait of Istanbul, has been temporarily suspended due to the incident.
In March, the grounding of a 400-meter-long container ship in the Suez Canal caused a six-day blockage of the crucial shipping channel, creating a queue of more than 350 vessels and an estimated cost of billions in damages to world trade.
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