Seamen sailing the Black Sea should really hope for favorable winds and good fortune in case of a boating accident, as authorities might not come up with a viable action plan – at least not in time. The thought comes to one’s mind, as on Sunday, around noon, a cargo ship transporting more then 14,000 sheep flipped onto its side in the Port of Midia. As Mediafax news agency and several Romanian news portals have reported, by afternoon only a few sheep were saved from the capsized Queen Hind.
Luckily though, the Syrian crew of 22 was brought safely to shore. One of them did fall overboard and suffered from hypothermia, but he is alive, and the necessary medical care was provided, Mediafax reported.
Nevertheless, the fate of the thousands of animals was not yet clear on Monday. It was surely not a good omen that although a couple of ships were sent from the Constanţa Coast Guard, another one was sent by the Inspectorate of Emergency Services from Dobrogea, and a crew from the Romanian Agency for Human Life Rescue at Sea (ARSVOM) was mobilized as well, only a scarce number of sheep were saved in more than four hours.
The answer might be found in the assertion of the union leader of the ARSVOM, Robert Robescu, who told the media that seven ships of different sizes and four faster boats were mobilized to help rescue the animals, but on Sunday afternoon there was no coherent, harmonized action plan. Every naval entity just acted “according to their specific area of responsibility.”
According to the first assessments, the Queen Hind fell onto its side because the livestock cargo was much heavier than it should have been and the sheep were crammed into one side of the boat. As the ship inclined dangerously in the sailing line of port Midia, the captain asked for help, as the crew’s best choice was to abandon the vessel.
Another weird accident happened on the Black Sea in 2017, when a Russian warship collided with a Turkish cargo boat filled with sheep being transported from Romania. After the collision, the vessel sank.
Title image: The ship had too heavy a cargo, and the animals were crammed into one side