London P&I Club informs that vessels navigating in the Black Sea should note that there have been three recent reports of sea mines drifting in the area.
s it was mentioned, on 26 March, an unidentified floating object similar to a mine or a bomb was sighted by a Turkish fishing vessel reported at the vicinity of anchorage area for bulk carrier vessels at Istanbul Strait north anchorage area.
A correspondent in Turkey, Vitsan Mumessillik ve Musavirlik A.S. has advised that the Ministry of National Defense of Turkey reported that this out to be an old type of mine, which was defused by the Turkish Navy.
According to Londong P&I Club, in relation to this incident, a correspondent and law firm, Cavus & Coskunsu Law Firm in Istanbul, Turkey, has provided the additional information:
“Turkish Ship-Owners Association published a detailed warning and advisory regarding the drifting mine danger for mariners. In brief Turkish Ship-Owners Association advised that the Northern Istanbul Strait entrance should be deemed as a risky area, that NAVTEX messages and broadcast of Channel-16 should be monitored carefully, that sharp and effective lookout should be performed, that any suspicious objects should be reported to Channel-16 along and vessels at the vicinity, that the coordinates of suspicious objects, wind direction and force, current direction and force should be recorded and reported. In addition, night fishing on the area is now forbidden by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry General Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture from 26.03.2022 until further notice.
Reportedly, Turkish Navy has deployed two specialized ships as a precaution and for a safe navigation. Under the circumstances, we strongly recommend vessels on the Black Sea coasts of Turkey to be on alert and closely monitor notices about sea mines and to keep look-out while it may not be possible to observe sea mines during night time.
On March 28, Turkish and Romanian responders neutralized more Soviet-era sea mines that were found drifting in the Black Sea.
For this reason, vessels navigating in the Black Sea should maintain lookouts for mines and pay careful attention to local navigation warnings.