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Ship Salvage Bosphorus

Palau flagged bulker MKK1, carrying grain under UN’s Black Sea grain initiative, is towed free after running aground in Istanbul's Bosphorus, Turkey January 16, 2023. REUTERS/Mehmet Emin Caliskan

Turkey Refloats Ship Stuck in Bosphorus

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January 16, 2023

By Ugur Yilmaz (Bloomberg) Turkey freed a vessel that had wedged itself against the banks of the Bosphorus Strait, clearing the vital waterway that connects the Black Sea with global markets.

Tugboats released the stranded bulk carrier after it got stuck Monday morning, CNN Turk television reported. The vessel, carrying peas, had run aground after its steering apparently failed en route from Ukraine to Istanbul. The strait has not yet reopened to shipping traffic.

Such incidents in the Bosphorus are typically resolved within hours. Yet it’s a reminder of Turkey’s longstanding concern about maritime mishaps in waters that are important for tourism — and serve as the vista for some of the country’s prime real estate. 

Ankara recently prevented oil tankers sailing from Russia from passing the strait because of insurance concerns related to sanctions. It relented only once it received proof the vessels were covered against risks including spills and collisions.

No spill from the bulk carrier, named MKK-1, was reported.

By Ugur Yilmaz with assistance from Alaric Nightingale, Kevin Varley, Megan Durisin and Patrick Sykes. © 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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