A seafarer has been killed in an attack in the Black Sea on a bulker owned by the Bangladeshi government.
Dryad Global said on Wednesday that Bangladesh Shipping Corp’s (BSC) 38,894-dwt Banglar Samriddhi (built 2018) was struck by a missile at 5:25pm local time (1525 GMT) while anchored at Olvia, more than 100 km from Odessa.
Olvia is also about 40km to the west of Kherson, a big Ukrainian city conquered by Russian forces on Wednesday after heavy fighting.
The dead crew member was named as third engineer Hadisur Rahman.
The vessel had 29 Bangladeshi sailors on board.
When the invasion of Ukraine began, the bulk carrier was stuck at the port.
“A shell struck the ship,” said Commodore Sumon Mahmud Sabbir, BSC’s managing director, according to the Financial Express.
“The shell detonated on the bridge, where third engineer Hadisur Rahman was on duty, and killed him,” he added.
“The other 28 on the ship are unharmed and the fire has been put out,” the boss said.
A video circulating social media appears to show the ship’s superstructure on fire.
“Dryad Global advice that any vessel currently within Ukrainian Ports should seek to leave immediately if deemed safe to do so,” the maritime security consultancy said.
“Vessels should ensure they are broadcasting on AIS and clearly state their intentions across VHF. Any vessels challenged by Russian military vessels should comply fully with instructions.”
Managers of ships stuck at Ukrainian ports told TradeWinds on Wednesday they were afraid crew members would get caught in the line of fire.
The attack is the fourth on commercial ships in the Black Sea since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.
Last Thursday, the 61,100-dwt bulker Yasa Jupiter (built 2019) had its windows blown out by what the owner described to TradeWinds as either a shell or a missile.
The next day another bulker, the 85,065-dwt Namura Queen (built 2020), and the 2,200-dwt bunker tanker Millennial Spirit (built 1974) were struck with missiles.
The Millennial Spirit attack was confirmed by Moldova, the ship’s flag state. Officials said that two of its 10 Russian crew members were seriously injured and that Ukrainian rescue crews had responded.
In addition to the four attacks in the Black Sea, Ukraine accused Russia of seizing two ships in the Sea of Azov while Russian state-run media said another two were attacked by Ukrainian in the same waters.
Security sources told TradeWinds that it was unlikely Ukraine carried out the attacks.
Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya, accused Russia of carrying out both attacks while addressing the General Assembly during an emergency session on Tuesday.
He said Russia had violated international law in the attacks.
On Wednesday, the European Union and the US asked the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to hold an emergency session into the matter.
On the same day, Nato issued a warning to commercial ships, telling them to stay clear of military vessels and beware of mines, automatic identification system manipulation and cyber attacks.
Navigation warnings highlighted by NATO include stretches of water near Odessa in the northwest Black Sea, near the Ukrainian shoreline along the Sea of Azov and a large swathe of water just outside the Kerch Strait.
Ukraine has already shut down its commercial ports since 24 February. On the same day Russia closed the Sea of Azov to shipping.
“Shipping is encouraged to stay in close contact with national and local maritime authorities,” the Nato warning read. “Shipping should ... thoroughly document any incidents and report these via their respective national channels and to the local maritime authorities.”
- Trafigura 'freezes' its investments Russia, including massive Arctic project
- IMO asked to convene urgently over ships trapped in Ukraine
- Blow-back for lines as Russia sanctions worsen congestion
- Salvage Union suspends Russian member Marine Rescue Service
- Torm CEO: Tanker trade will shift as more oil and gas firms disengage with Russia