Freighter Goes Aground Near Istanbul

Video still via social media

Published Dec 19, 2018 7:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Wednesday morning, the Comoros-flagged freighter Natalia ran aground on Turkey's Black Sea coast, driven ashore by heavy weather. 

The vessel suffered a mechanical casualty at about 0430 hours at a position off Sile, an outlying district of Istanbul located about 20 nm from the Bosporus' northern entrance. The Natalia's crew dropped anchor to prevent her from drifting and continued repair work. The master declined assistance from response vessels, according to Anadolu Agency. The Natalia succeeded briefly in regaining propulsion, but at 0900 hours, she ran aground on a peninsula.

The vessel's 16 crewmembers were evacuated to shore using a line and pulley system. No pollution, flooding, or injuries have been reported. 

The 1983-built Natalia (IMO 8203622) is a geared freighter flagged in the Comoros Islands. Over the course of 2018, PSC inspectors in Turkey, Russia and Greece have recorded more than 100 alleged deficiencies on board the Natalia, including multiple issues with structural corrosion and cracking, leaking machinery, inoperative fire alarms and fire pumps, noncompliant fire doors and firefighting equipment. In June, she was detained for one week in Thesalloniki for a range of deficiencies. 

Based on fleetwide inspection records, the Paris MOU on Port State Control classifies the Comoros registry as a "very high risk" flag: it ranks 72nd out of 73 registries for frequency of detentions. Like many open registries, it is administered by a separate entity headquartered outside of the flag state.