Bulk Carrier Aground in Accident-Prone Bosphorus Strait

Mike Schuler
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September 9, 2015

Bulk carrier El Condor Pasa aground in the Bosphorus Strait, September 9, 2015. Photo: Turkish General Directorate of Coastal Safety


Another incident to report today in Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait, this time involving a laden bulk carrier that grounded during a transit of Strait and may be leaking oil.

According to Turkey’s General Directorate of Coastal Safety, the Panama-flagged MV El Condor Pasa ran aground Wednesday during a northbound transit of the Bosphorus Strait. The 20,157 DWT bulk carrier carrying a cargo of coal at the time of the incident, the organization said.

Photo: Turkish General Directorate of Coastal Safety
Photo: Turkish General Directorate of Coastal Safety


Rescue boats and a tug have been dispatched to the area amid fears that the vessel may have leaked oil.

The General Directorate of Coastal Safety said the 177-meter vessel grounded despite warnings from the Istanbul Vessel Traffic Service.

The Bosphorus Strait is part of the Turkish Straits connecting the Black Sea with the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas via the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. The area has been so accident-prone in recent months that we have started compiling a list:

  • June: A fully-laden Suezmax tanker was hard aground near Istanbul.
  • June: Cruise ship with hundreds of passengers and a chemical tanker carrying flammable naphtha collided in the Dardanelles Strait, causing damage but no injuries. 
  • July: A general cargo ship carrying fertilizer ran hard aground in Dardanelles strait.
  • July: A cargo ship smashed a house in the Bosphorus. Seriously.
  • July: A Turkish-flagged cargo ship sank and one person died after colliding with freighter near the Bosphorus Strait’s Black Sea entrance.
  • August: A capesize coal carrier lost power in Bosphorus, had to be rescued.
  • August: Bosphorus closed due to adrift general cargo ship.
  • September: A bulk carrier collided with a tanker in the Bosphorus approximately 8 nautical miles from the northern entrance.


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