Estonian Cargo Vessel Sinks Off Odesa; Innocent Ships Becoming Victims Of War

An Estonian cargo vessel sank on Thursday off Ukraine’s major Black Sea port of Odesa, hours after a Bangladeshi ship was hit by a bomb/missile at a port located toward the east of Odesa, underlining the growing dangers to merchant shipping following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Several shipping companies have suspended their sailings to impacted Black Sea ports and Ukrainian terminals, with insurance premiums for voyages going up exponentially in recent times. About three commercial vessels have been victims of projectiles since 24 February.

Six individuals from the Estonian-owned and Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel were picked by Ukrainian Rescue Services, per what the Ukraine Maritime Administrator informed.

Helt - vista shipping
Image Credits: Vista Shipping Agency AS

Two individuals were in a life raft at the sea when four were unaccounted for earlier, Igor Ilves, Tallinn-based manager Vista Shipping Agency’s managing director, reported to the Reuters. Ilves said that possibly the vessel had struck a mine. Ilves also added that the crew comprised one Russian national, four Ukrainian, and one Belarusian.

NATO’s Shipping Center sent out a warning on Wednesday saying there was an extremely high risk of collateral damage on civilian shipping, especially in the northwestern area of the Black Sea and which includes mines.

Civilian shipping has been repeatedly requested to be cautious and on high alert in the war-prone area. This comes after Ukraine’s Armed Forces has ended up accusing the Russian Black Sea Fleet of utilizing civilian vessels like human shields.


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