An elderly aframax has suffered a breakdown in Turkey’s Dardanelles Strait after loading in Russia.

The 105,700-dwt Hera 1 (built 2005) experienced engine failure on Thursday morning, shipping agents told Bloomberg.

The Japanese-built ship lost propulsion near an entry point to the strait in north-west Turkey.

Southbound traffic was suspended for three hours during a salvage operation.

Equasis lists the tanker as operated by Triglav Shipping in the Marshall Islands, which reportedly acquired it in 2020 from Valles Steamship.

Its insurer is unknown.

The Comoro Islands-flag tanker was en route to Port Said in north-east Egypt, which it was due to reach on 26 May.

AIS data showed it at anchor in the strait on Friday morning.

Novorossisyk loading

The Hera 1 left the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk on 15 May.

The tanker has never been detained by port state control inspectors.

At its last inspection in Novorossiysk in January, two faults were found, relating to emergency towing arrangements and the gangway accommodation ladder.

The origin of the cargo was not clear. The vessel may have loaded a mainly Kazakh crude blend at the CPC terminal near the Russian port.

Shadow fleet tankers hauling sanctioned cargoes have been involved in at least 50 incidents, including collisions and oil spills, according to insurer Allianz.

Steadily increasing sanctions on Russia and existing measures targeting Venezuela, Iran and North Korea have led to a rise in a fleet of poorly inspected and elderly vessels often with inadequate insurance, it said.

A collision in the Danish Straits in March involved a tanker that later loaded Russian oil, the 115,600-dwt Andromeda Star (built 2009).

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