Moldovan ship sinks in storm off Israel, crew safe

ASHDOD, Israel - A Moldovan cargo ship sank in bad weather off Israel’s coast on Sunday but its 11 crew were rescued, an Israeli maritime official said.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sun 12 Dec 2010, 7:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 6:01 AM

Separately, Israel said it reopened Ashdod port to admit a Turkish merchant ship that had been overwhelmed by the winter squalls and was in touch with another Turkish vessel that had issued a distress call.

‘The Moldovan ship sank ... the crew got off on life rafts,’ Yigal Maor of Israel’s Shipping and Ports Authority told Israel Radio. The sailors, all Ukrainian, were ‘alive and well’ after being picked up by a Taiwanese merchant vessel, he said.

Another official with the Shipping and Ports Authority named the Moldovan ship as the ‘Adriatic’. Israeli media said it was carrying 3,000 tonnes of iron and got into difficulty 10 miles (16 km) from Ashdod.

The port had been closed as a precaution against accidents. But habour master Tzvika Kfir said a Turkish ship was allowed to dock on Sunday given the difficult conditions at sea. The Shipping and Ports Authority named that vessel as the ‘Fidan’.

Another Turkish vessel had reported losing power 20 miles (32 km) out in the Mediterranean, Kfir said.

‘We do not have the ability to go out of port right now to help them,’ he told Israel Radio. ‘They are saying that ... if the storm continues they will be swept northward.’

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