>A Disaster That Did Not Happen

>A recent grounding of a cargo ship in Dardanelles revealed how close it came to a potential catastrophe.

On 17 December 2009, the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines flagged cargo ship M/V Lady Juliet was traveling in Dardanelles in southern direction. She missed the turn at Nara point and rammed into the breakwater at Eceabat. She entered 6 meters in the breakwater and damaged a 10 meter wide section.

So far so good. Such accidents happen very often as the transit traffic in the straits increase constantly.

But when the captain of the ship refused at first any help adamantly it raised suspicion. It turned out that the ship was not only carrying 6900 tons of ammonium nitrate as declared by the captain. Along ammonium nitrate, 152.677 kilograms of rocket warhead primers, 24.600 kilograms of bomb primers and 69 tons of various goods were on board too.

Luckily for all parties involved the ship was refloated, late night on 18 December 2009. Of course the ship did not have a pilot on board at the time of the accident.

6900 tons of ammonium nitrate plus 176 tons of explosive primers are the basic ingredients for a magnificent bonfire which could have happened in the accident happened in a different way.

The incident clearly demonstrated the daily hazards the people among the banks of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus are facing. M/V Lady Juliet departed from Ukraine and was heading to Algiers. Therefore the accident could have happened in Istanbul. She could have rammed not just a breakwater but a resident at the coast of the Bosphorus. Her cargo could have caught fire and explode in a water way that bisect a city of 12 million people.

I know all these are a bunch of speculation. But they are not impossible. Click here to see what can be done with a friction of ammonium nitrate that M/V Lady Juliet has on board.

One Response to >A Disaster That Did Not Happen

  1. Anonymous says:

    >A curious foot-note: The Lady Juliet was attacked by Somali pirates a month prior to this – on 16 November 2009 in the Gulf of Aden.

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