Over 1,000 sailors stranded on ships near Ukraine | Rigzone

About 140 ships were trapped off the coast of Ukraine, putting more than a thousand sailors at risk.

Since Russian troops began the invasion last week, a dozen tankers, a sunflower oil tanker and 45 bulk carriers used to transport grain, ore and coal have been stranded, tracking data shows. ships compiled by Bloomberg. There are also 54 cargo carriers and one container ship that sailed into Odessa just before the port closed.

At least five merchant ships have exploded in the area since the attack began, underscoring the risk crews face.

Ships cannot leave Ukrainian waters because there are no port pilots to guide them, according to ship owners and managers. More importantly, shipping in parts of the northwest Black Sea is restricted due to the threat posed by underwater mines, according to an alert posted on the Spanish Navy’s website.

At least some of the stranded ships have cargo on board, according to people familiar with the ships in the area.

The Panamanian-flagged cargo ship Helt sank after being hit below the waterline, prompting salvage operations to bring six crew members ashore, the Ukrainian Seaports Administration said. Meanwhile, an engineer from Bangladesh Shipping Corp.’s Banglar Samriddhi vessel. died when a missile hit the ship.

Intense fighting and shelling continued in towns of the main agricultural exporter. This has led to soaring commodity prices, from food to energy, as shippers scramble to divert thousands of containers of cargo to other ports. Oil prices are also skyrocketing because some tanker companies don’t want to let their ships lift Russian barrels just yet.

A typical ocean-going merchant ship will have 20 or more crew on board, implying that over 1,000 sailors would be stranded.

“All ports are blocked,” said Henrik Jensen, managing director of Danica Crewing Specialists, which provides services to two ships stranded in Ukraine with 40 crew members on board, all unharmed. “It’s a terrible situation.”

–With the help of Ailing Tan.