Romanian port authorities struggling to rescue sheep from capsized carrier

Midia, Romania port authorities have been trying to right a capsized ship on in the hope of rescuing thousands of sheep still alive, but trapped below deck on livestock carrier Queen Hind (IMO 7290675).

The Queen Hind flipped onto its side shortly after leaving Romania’s Midia port, en route to Saudi Arabia, on Sunday November 24th. The mostly Syrian crew were all safely rescued.

A Romanian naval authority officer told Reuters that “there are hopes to rescue many sheep, as they are trapped under the deck in air pockets. But operations to lighten the ship and refloat it are very difficult and may last several days”.

Drone footage showed the carcases of dozens of drowned animals floating next to the vessel, with only 50 of the ship’s load of 14,000 rescued so far, the naval official said.

Agriculture minister Nechita-Adrian Oros said his department, the transport ministry and the national food and animal safety watchdog had launched an investigation into why the ship capsized.

A boom has been laid out around the vessel to contain any pollution.

Romania is the European Union’s biggest exporter of live sheep to the Middle East.

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.