After the Wrecking Ships

by Joshua Foust on 11/12/2007

Almost as if God Herself were out to show why pipelines that bypass the Bosporus are necessary, a major storm in the Black Sea sank four ships and an oil tanker. The tanker, which sank in 5-meter seas, was just off the coast of Kerch, a Ukrainian port almost equidistant between Sevastopol, Ukraine and Krasnodar, Russia.


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This is, basically, an environmental disaster. The tanker has spilled over 1,300 metric tons of oil, and some of the other sunk ships were reportedly carrying hazardous materials like sulphur and scrap metals.

Oil Slick in Kavkaz

English Russia has more photos (hopefully not as plagiarized as some of their other sets). Initial reports suggest the Volganeft-139 tanker that split in half was not designed to withstand stormy seas, but was in fact a riverine craft. If that is the case, I would wonder: what was it doing anchored out of its river with a major storm approaching?


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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