Cargo ship from Ukraine grounded in Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait | Russia-Ukraine war News

Sea traffic on the popular waterway has come to a standstill after a cargo ship carrying peas ran aground.

A cargo ship traveling from Ukraine to Turkey has sunk in Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait, halting traffic on the vital waterway.

According to shipping agents Tribeca, Monday’s incident did not cause any damage or spillage to the Palau-flagged vessel, known as the MKK 1.

The Turkish Coastguard Authority said several tugs were among the vessels sent to assist the 142-meter (466-foot) freighter.

Television footage showed the bow of the ship carrying 13,000 tonnes of peas close to the shore on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. The incident took place at Umureri between the second and third bridges over the Bosphorus.

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The Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, which runs the United Nations-brokered Black Sea Grain Treaty, reported earlier at the weekend that the ship was traveling from Pivdenni, near Odesa, Ukraine, to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Mersin.

The Istanbul governor’s office said the dry cargo ship sank very close to shore in the Bekoz district at around 7:30 am (04:30 GMT) due to rudder failure.

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Since July, Ukrainian grain has been exported through the Black Sea and the Bosphorus Strait. The deal ends a months-long embargo on Ukrainian grain exports as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Bosphorus is the world’s most important strait, connecting ships from the Black Sea and Russia and Ukraine to the Dardanelles Strait, through which ships enter the Mediterranean Sea.

The Palau-flagged bulk carrier MKK1, carrying grain under the UN's Black Sea Grain Initiative, is seen adrift in the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey on January 16, 2023.  REUTERS/Yoruk Isik
A ship en route from Ukraine to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Mersin got stuck in Istanbul, Turkey. [Yoruk Isik/Reuters]

This incident is not the first time the Bosphorus has been closed to shipping. In September, the Lady Jehma, carrying grain from Ukraine, temporarily closed the strait.

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A cargo ship that sunk in Egypt’s Suez Canal last week has been refloated. The MV Glory ran aground near the city of Qantara in Ismailia’s Suez Canal Governorate.

In March 2021 one of the world’s largest container ships blocked traffic along the Suez Canal, disrupting global trade. The Panama-flagged Ever Given ran diagonally across the single-lane stretch of the southern canal after losing control amid high winds and a dust storm.

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