The Death Of A Tanker

37 years ago to this day, in the very early hours, İstanbul was shaken by a large explosion. There was a huge firewall on the water and windows of many nearby houses were broken.

The Romanian tanker MT Independenta was waiting for the pilot, when the Greek cargo ship MV Evriali collided, at the southern entrance  of Bosphorus.

MT Independenta suffered 3 large explosions. Only 3 of her 43 strong crew survived the accident. The ship burned for days and created a huge environmental disaster.

My grandfather was lucky, to go on board and take some interesting yet grotesque and grim photos.   Some of them are below, to testify the intensity of the heat and days of burning.

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

Coast Guard Boat Collided With A Merchant Ship And Capsized

TCSG25

TCSG-25 in her better days

Yesterday morning, during the morning rush hour, the Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-25 collided with the Cook Island flag and Turkish owned bulk carrier M/V Tolunay on Bosphorus. The accident happened near the southern entrance of Bosphorus. The coast guard boat capsized after the collision. Both civilian and military rescue ships and other vessels were rushed to the scene. Unfortunately 3 members of crew Rıza Yücel, Yavuz Gökhan Şahin and Sinan Göktaş died while the remaining 3 were rescued.

The boat was tasked to escort the Russian Natya class mine hunter Valentin Pikul which was returning from her Syrian deployment.

If you wonder -like me- how a slow and large bulk carrier could collide with a very fast and agile boat the video below gives us some clue. For a reason, not clear, to me the coast guard boats stays motionless in front of the bulker. At this point it was not possible for the merchant ship to see the boat or to stop.

After the collision the merchant ship sailed till the northern entrance of Bosphorus to Büyükdere Bay. That Bay is the first place along the Bosphorus where a safe anchorage without disturbing the transit traffic is possible. Conveniently the headquarters of Istanbul Coast Guard Command is also located there.

From The Archive (20)

550

Italian helicopter cruiser, C-550 ITS Vittorio Veneto in Istanbul. She visited Istanbul a few times before being decommissioned in 2003. I have no date for this photo but it looks like late 1990’s.

From The Archive (19)

R97

French helicopter cruiser R-97 FS Jeanne d’Arc in Istanbul on 12 February 1996. She visited Istanbul a few times during her training cruises for French naval cadets.

From The Archive (17)

F301

F-301 HNoMS Bergen in Istanbul on 11 October 1992. The Oslo class frigate of the Royal Norwegian Navy was commissioned on 22 June 1967. She served till 3 August 2005. Like last weeks post, she is one of her kind as I have not seen any other Norwegian warship in Istanbul.

From The Archive (16)

a302

A-302 SAS Outeniqua in Istanbul on 15 September 1993. It was her inaugural voyage from Ukraine to South Africa. She was built as Arctic supply vessel of Project 10621 in Ukraine for Russia and bought by South Africa. She was decommissioned on 30 July 2004. As far as I know she is the only South African warship ever visited Istanbul.

From The Archive (15)

BB61

BB-61 USS Iowa in Istanbul on 5 October 1989, just a few months after the deadly turret explosion. A ship from the era when they built real ships and didn’t care about stealth. She was decommissioned in 1990 and turned into a museum.

From The Archive (14)

TCGPirireis

TCG Pirireis in Istanbul during a naval parade. This photo was taken between 1998 and 2003. She was decommissioned in 2004 and serves as a museum today.

19th May 1919, is regarded as the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence. We thank those who gave their lives to free our homeland from occupation.

From The Archive (13)

HMS Illustrious in Istanbul. 16 May 2008

HMS Illustrious in Istanbul on 16 May 2008. Note the near loss of one Merlin HM Mk2 as the brakes malfunctioned. She was the host of Queen Elisabeth’s reception. HMS Illustrious was decommissioned in 2014 and currently is for sale.

From The Archive (12)

IMG

HMCS Gatineau in Istanbul on 29th October 1992. She was Canada’s contribution to NATO’s STANAVFORLANT. She was decommissioned in 1998 and scrapped in 2009.

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