Frightening footage has emerged of the moment that the hull of a 46-year-old dry-bulk carrier, the MV Arvin, visibly split in two, sending the Ukrainian-owned ship to the bottom of the Black Sea off Turkey’s eastern coast.
What’s even more disturbing is the fact that three seafarers died while several mayday calls are clearly heard - and with two other vessels in sight from the Arvin’s bridge where the video was recorded.
The ageing vessel was en route from the Georgian Port of Poti to Bulgaria’s Port of Burgas when it ran into trouble on January 15.
Following an appeal for help it was allowed to anchor just off Bartin on Turkey’s Inkumu coast, where 12 crew members two days later found themselves stuck on board as the bow clearly started breaking up amidships in heavy swells.
It is at that point that the first plea for help was sounded, followed by several thereafter: “Mayday, mayday!”
Reports vary but of the 10 Ukrainian and two Russian seafarers on board, only six were rescued and have since been discharged from the Turkish hospital to which they were taken.
Four bodies were found among the wreckage and two more of the crew remain missing.
It has since emerged that port officials from Georgia last year found that the Arvin was structurally unsound, with deck corrosion and poorly maintained weather hatches supporting calls at the time to condemn the ship.
Turkey’s maritime sea worker’s platform, Deniz İşçileri, said it was regrettable that the lives of seafarers had been put at risk despite clear evidence of a vessel’s sheet metal having reached breaking point.
It is particularly dismayed about the incident happening some four years after another cargo vessel, the MV Bilal Bal, sank off Istanbul following reports that its structural integrity was compromised.
Then, as with the Palau-flagged Arvin, it had been clear that the Bilal Bal would sink, Deniz İşçileri said.
WATCH: The moment that the Arvin started breaking up.