Only 254 out of 14,500 sheep saved in livestock carrier disaster

Officials on November 29th ended the rescue operation that managed to save 254 sheep on capsized livestock carrier Queen Hind. More than 14,000 sheep died on the vessel after she capsized off the Romanian coast on November 24th.

Rescue crews are now preparing to remove thousands of carcasses from the vessel.

The operation had been made difficult by unstable conditions onboard and by the fact that the animals, which can weigh upward of 60kg had to be brought out of the vessel one by one, through a single access point.

On November 26th rescuers started cutting holes in the sides of the vessel to reach less accessible areas after receiving permission from the vessel’s owner. This allowed the crew to find more animals, on November 28th just 24 were found alive. More than 100 people a day were involved in the operation, including members of the water rescue agency.

The next issue will be righting the ship so that crews can remove the carcasses and incinerate them. The sheep have already begun to decay.

1980-built, Palau-flagged, 3,785 gt Queen Hind is owned by Astra Marine Services Ltd care of manager MGM Marine Shipping SRL of Constanta, Romania.