Extra Decks Found on Capsized Livestock Carrier
Salvors working on the capsized livestock carrier Queen Hind claim they have found extra decks on the vessel.
The Palau-flagged Queen Hind capsized shortly after departing the Port of Midia in Romania on November 24 last year. While the crew escaped safely, only 180 of 14,600 sheep were saved. Salvors Grup Servizi Petroliere (GSP) claim that there could have been more sheep lost, as divers found that the extra decks had animals on board.
Divers were sent to investigate after cranes were unable to lift the vessel as planned. Cables snapped under the extra weight which could mean that several thousand more sheep were onboard than previously reported. The salvors claim the extra decks were not documented on the cargo loading plan.
The claim that extra sheep were on board has been disputed. Local media reports cite an official saying that the salvors may not have accounted for the extra weight of water-logged sheep; the salvors dispute this. Additionally, it has been noted that exact counts of sheep are not made at boarding.
The Guardian reports Gabriel Paun, a spokesperson for Animals International, saying the vessel was suspected to have capsized due to overloading. Animals International plans to make a formal complaint to the European Commission about the case.