Posted on November 25, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Palau-flagged Livestock Carrier, QUEEN HIND capsized during the morning hours of Sunday the 24th of November as the vessel was transiting off the coast of Romania.
The incident occurred shortly after 12:00 pm local time, some 12 nautical miles from the Romanian coast.
The Queen Hind had just left the port of Midia, located near the south-eastern Romanian city of Constanta when it capsized, allegedly due loss of stability from the cargo on board the vessel.
Thankfully, the 22 crewmembers onboard the Queen Hind, all Syrian nationals, were successfully rescued from the sinking ship. One seafarer has been hospitalized for hypothermia after falling into the sea, but his condition is considered to be non-threatening.
The vessel, which continues to slowly sink, is resting its starboard side on the seafloor, with half of its hull remaining above water.
So far, an operation comprising of police, firefighting forces and the Romanian Coast Guard, has been launched in order to attempt and save the sheep from the vessel.
So far, at least 32 sheep have been found swimming near the ship and have been subsequently rescued, but many are believed to have drowned following the incident.
The Romanian main livestock breeder association has publicly condemned the incident and has called for an immediate investigation into the capsizing of the Queen Hind.
“Our association is shocked by the disaster. If we cannot protect livestock during long-distance transports, we should outright ban them,” said Acebop President, Mary Pana during her statement to the AFP.
Furthermore, Gabriel Paun, belonging the NGO group, Animals International told the AFP that the ship had been overloaded, and was regularly experiencing engine issues over the last few months.
An investigation into the incident is set to begin as soon as the rescue operation is concluded, and the salvaging of the vessel has commenced.