On January 7, the 113 meter long cargo vessel Volgo-Balt 214 broke-in-two and sank in the Black Sea off Samsun, Turkey. The Volgo-Balt 214 was loaded with 3300 tons of coal from Azov bound for Samsun in heavy seas when a large wave smashed against the vessel causing a hull fracture. The bow of the Volgo-Balt 214 broke away and both sections of the cargo vessel flooding. Seven of the 13 crew were able to escape into the life rafts.
The Turkish Coast Guard dispatched four helicopters and several vessels to conduct a search and rescue operation. Authorities rescued the 7 crew from the life rafts and continued search the remaining crew. The following day authorities were able to recover the bodies of the missing crewmen. Reports state the Volgo-Balt 214 had several reported deficiencies during an inspection in 2017 including hull corrosion and cracking. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
On July 5, the 69 meter long, 1952 dwt cargo vessel An Phu 868 was lost off Vung Tau, Vietnam. The An Phu 868 sailed from An Giang enroute to Hai Phong and Phan Thiet when it struck a shoal. The cargo vessel split-in-two and the cargo holds rapidly filled with water. The crew sent out a distress call and abandoned ship into the vessel’s life raft. Authorities alerted nearby vessels to assist in rescue efforts. The cargo vessel Truong Hai Star 3 responded and rescued all 9 crew of the An Phu 868. No reports of injuries. Reports state that the vessel remains on the shoal and a salvage team plans to remove the 10 tons of bunker fuel off the An Phu 868.
On August 27, the 114 meter long, 3348 dwt bulk carrier Leonardo broke-in-two and sank on the Black Sea off Kilyos, Turkey. The Leonardo was en route to Istanbul to undergo repairs at the Tuzla shipyard. The vessel was waiting at anchor off Kilyos when it suffered a structural failure. A large crack developed amidships and the vessel began to hog. The Leonardo sent out a distress call and the 11 crew on board were rescued by the Coast Security General Directorate and the Coast Guard. No reports of injuries.
The crack increased in size and eventually the vessel broke-in-two. The forward section of the Leonardo drifted away from the stern, filled with water after several hours and eventually sank. The stern section was taken under tow and taken to the shoreline where it was driven aground in order to avoid it from sinking. Conditions prevented from emptying the fuel tanks on board immediately. It would take a few additional days before salvage operations could reach the tanks and begin removal of the fuel.