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Russian warship sinks after collision with freighter in Black Sea

The Guardian – By Shaun Walker in Moscow and agencies – Thursday 27 April 2017

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Photo: Russian Navy’s reconnaissance ship Liman, of the Black Sea fleet, is pictured in the Bosphorus last year. Murad Sezer/Reuters.

Reconnaissance vessel damaged in crash with Togo-flagged boat near Turkish coast, prompting evacuation of 78 crew members.

A Russian naval reconnaissance warship has collided with a Togo-flagged boat near Turkey’s Black Sea coast, prompting an evacuation. There were no reports of casualties on either ship, but the Russian boat sank.

A Turkish coastal safety official told Reuters that 78 crew members had been evacuated from the Russian ship.

Russia’s defence ministry said its vessel, the Liman, had a hole as a result of the incident. The ministry told the Interfax news agency there were no casualties among the ship’s crew, who were “fighting to keep the boat in the water”.

However, the Turkish coastguard later reported the boat had sunk, around three hours after the crash.

The shipping agent GAC said the Liman and the other vessel, which it identified as Youzarsif H, collided in fog and low visibility. The Togo-flagged boat is believed to have been carrying livestock. All its crew were also unhurt.

The incident occurred shortly before noon local time, around 20 miles north-west of the Bosphorus strait, which divides Istanbul into European and Asian sides. Coastguard and emergency teams were dispatched to the site.

The Liman is a former research vessel that the Russian navy has retrofitted into a reconnaissance ship. It is part of Russia’s Black Sea fleet and is equipped with radio and sonar equipment.

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Posted by Teri Perticone

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