Ship with 14,600 sheep aboard capsizes off Romania

BUCHAREST: Rescuers were struggling on Sunday (Nov 24) to save 14,600 sheep loaded on a cargo ship that capsized in the Black Sea off the coast of Romania, they said.

The Queen Hind bound for Saudi Arabia overturned for yet unknown reasons shortly after leaving Romania's Midia port.

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The crew of 20 Syrians and one Lebanese were rescued, together with 32 sheep, two of which were pulled from the water, said Ana-Maria Stoica, a spokeswoman for the rescue services.

Sheep rescued from a capsized livestock transport vessel, on board a border police boat in the "Midia" Black Sea harbour near Constanta. (IGSU Romania/AFP)

"The rescue operation is ongoing … We hope that the sheep inside the ship's hold are still alive," she told AFP.

Rescuers supported by the military, police and divers were trying to right the Palau-flagged ship and pull it to the port, she said.

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Romania's main livestock breeder and exporter association, Acebop, called for an urgent investigation.

"Our association is shocked by the disaster," Acebop president Mary Pana said in a statement. "If we cannot protect livestock during long-distance transports, we should outright ban them."

Gabriel Paun of NGO Animals International alleged that the ship had been overloaded. He added that the Queen Hind had already had engine problems last December.

"An investigation must be opened without delay," he told AFP.

Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, is one of its poorest members.

It is the bloc's third-largeRead More – Source