The livestock carrier “QUEEN HIND” overturned in Midia Port, Romania on 24th November with approximately 14,600 sheep and 22 crewmembers on board. Rescuers of the military, the police and some divers teamed up and made their efforts to face this tragedy. Until now, all of the vessel’s personnel along with 33 ships have been rescued, with the rest feared to be drowned.
The cargo ship was leaving Midia Port to its final destination Liby, but eventually led capsized in the Black Sea. As a spokeswoman of the rescue services reported to The Guardian: “The rescue operation is ongoing…We hope that the sheep inside the ship’s hold are still alive. Rescuers were trying to right the Palau-flagged ship and pull it to the port.”
According to a recent investigation published on 26 November, rescuers managed to save another 20 sheep, while the authorities believe there are still several alive, as they have heard sounds from within the vessel. Meaning that the rescue team will not give up the hard work and will continue searching for alive and trapped sheep.
The animal organization “FOUR PAWS International” announced on 28 November that they managed to rescue another 109 alive sheep from the ship, counting 228 rescued animals in total. May the chances of rescuing more sheep are lower at this point, the rescuers won’t give up their efforts and will try hard to save any alive sheep.
For the time being, the reasons that caused the ship to capsize still remain unknown. Moreover, the Romanian Association of Breeders and Exporters of Cattle, Sheep and Pigs (ACEBOP) called the government to act immediately, requesting an urgent investigation and punishment of those guilty.
We do not accept such explanations, we request an urgent investigation of the responsible institutions, the punishment of those guilty according to the Romanian law of animal welfare. If we are not able to protect animals during long distance transport, at least we have a backbone to prohibit them
…the Association reported.
At the moment, it is hypothesized that the main causes of the disaster were the overload of the ship, along with the crew’s mistaken actions or inactions, which resulted faulty ballasting leading to the vessel’s overturn.
Overall, livestock carriers have been exposed to many accidents in the past. Specifically during the last month, a vessel which was carrying 1,400 cattle and 2,000 sheep, experienced engine malfunction off the Portuguese coast. While several months ago another livestock carrier was caught in the fire at the Port of Pireaus, Greece.