Surveys and investigation of fire-hit Maestro hit legal hurdle

Damage surveys and legal investigations on LPG tanker Maestro (IMO 8810700) have been completed. Towage approval was issued by the Harbour Master in Kerch. It was planned to tow the vessel from Kerch to a scrapyard in Aliaga, Turkey.

Towage began on May 6th. However, during the vessel’s passage through the Istanbul Strait, permission to pass and towage approval were suspended by Turkish authorities for legal reasons. A suit was reportedly filed against the owners of the vessel, related the fire, explosion, and some of the injured and dead crew members.

On May 10th the vessel was shifted from the Istanbul Strait to Haydarpasa, where she was arrested by both the Harbour Master and the Public Prosecutor. The vessel’s departure and towage permissions were cancelled by Turkish Authorities until the legal processes were resolved. 1990-built, 4086 gt Maestro is owned and managed by Maestro Shipping of Anguilla. The fires on Maestro and Kandy broke out in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait in late January, probably as a result of an STS transfer that went wrong. Trading LPG of Crimean origin is illegal according to international sanctions imposed on Crimea and Russia. Both the vessels involved were owned by offshore companies and were Tanzania-flagged at the time. At least 10 seafarers on the two vessels were reported dead, with 14 rescued