An Estonian cargo ship has been “sunk by a mine” following a “massive explosion” off the Odessa coast close to where the Russian navy are operating.
The vessels manager said that “two crew” members are in a life raft out at sea and “four” other members of the Helt are “missing.”
Igor Ilves, managing director of Tallinn-based manager Vista Shipping Agency, confirmed the incident to Reuters on Thursday.
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He said, “The vessel has finally sunk. Two of the crew are in a raft on the water and four others are missing.
“I don’t know where they are at the moment.”
NATO’s Shipping Center warned on Wednesday that there is “a high risk of collateral damage” on civilian ships in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.
The warning said, “There are several open-source reports of civilian ships being hit directly or indirectly as a result of the acts of war in the northwestern Black Sea within Ukrainian territorial waters and adjacent international waters.”
“Civilian shipping is encouraged to exercise caution and be on high alert in the area.”
The Black Sea port of Odessa is on Vladimir Putin’s hit list to capture as Russian warships are in the area and Russian marines were sent to the port on Wednesday but declared mutiny and refused to fight.
Odessa is the Ukraine’s largest port city which is vital for the economy of the country and it is has been claimed an attack there is “highly likely.”