Rescuers scramble to save 15,000 sheep trapped after ship overturned in Black Sea near Romania

Foto: ISU Constanța

Rescuers are scrambling to save thousands of sheep trapped after a large cargo ship overturned in the Black Sea off the coast of Romania.

 The Queen Hind capsized on Sunday after leaving the port of Midia, near the southeastern city of Constanta.

It was carrying 14,600 sheep and was headed to Saudi Arabia. The 20 crew members were rescued.

An operation involving the military, police, firefighters, divers and the coastguard resumed on Monday morning.  Media reported that a further 21 sheep were saved Monday.

At least 32 sheep found swimming near the Palau-flagged ship were rescued on Sunday, but many are believed to have drowned, with thousands remaining trapped. Reports said that the ship capsized because it was overloaded.

The crew members, some 20 Syrian nationals, were rescued from the vessel. One crew member was taken to hospital with hypothermia.

The ship left Midia at about 12.00 local time (10.00 GMT) on Sunday and was heading to the Saudi port of Jeddah. The vessel was built in 1980 and has a gross tonnage of 3,785,according to the Marina Traffic website.

The ship passed health and safety checks in March, while the National Authority for Animal Welfare and Food Safety said Monday the livestock was declared fit for travel.

The ship had an area and has an area of 5,011 square meters and the animals weighed an average of 47.5 kilograms, the agency said.


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