As one of the busiest sea routes in the region, Bosphorus’ traffic could be up to 110 passages of ships per day. Recently, Turkey exerts all efforts prevent accidents in Bosphorus Strait, reports Xinhuanet News.
Marine warning of strong winds and heavy rains
Recently, southbound vessels were ordered to pass through the waterway as soon as possible after maritime officials received a two-day marine warning of strong winds and heavy rains in Istanbul.
“There is no safe harbor for the ships to take shelter in the Black Sea, we have to exert more efforts to take them to the Marmara Sea as soon as possible. That’s why traffic will flow from north to south all day long today,” Baris Gul, chief operator of the Istanbul Ship Traffic Services, told Xinhua.
“If the vessel derails due to a malfunction, such as a mechanical or rudder failure, the tugboat will immediately intervene,” Cem Savrunlu, captain of Rescue-7, said while sailing through foggy and rainy weather conditions.
As one of the busiest sea routes in the region, Bosphorus’ traffic could be up to 110 passages of ships per day, requiring close monitoring and painstaking coordination from the Ship Traffic Services, a branch of the Directorate General of Coastal Safety.
“We do not allow tankers over 200 meters in length, carrying dangerous cargo, such as explosive materials, to pass through the Bosphorus at night,” said Sukru Hakan Kaya, manager of the Traffic Services, at the services’ coordination center.
When it comes to tankers, preventing oil spills is a top concern. “Estrella carries 110,000 tons of oil, and it is almost impossible to stop such a giant block in a risky situation from a distance, and therefore close physical contact is the best option to prevent a disaster,” Savrunlu said.
Mishaps remain inevitable
Tugce Bakcepinar, second captain of Rescue-7, told Xinhua that at critical turns, the tugboat will get even closer to Estrella to allow for faster and more effective intervention.
Despite all vigilance, some mishaps remain inevitable.
In 2018, the Maltese-flagged Vitaspirit, a 225-meter long bulk carrier, crashed into a historic mansion along the Asian shores of the strait after an engine failure. The accident occurred at the narrowest point of the strait, blocking the entire traffic for hours.
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Source: Xinhuanet News