Casualties – General Cargo Ship ARVIN sank off Turkey – 17.01.2021

On Sunday 17th January the 1975 built general cargo ship ARVIN sank off Turkey in severe weather conditions.

At the time of the incident, ARVIN was making a stopover on a voyage from Poti, Georgia to Burgas, Bulgaria. The Turkish Foreign Ministry reported that the ship had sought shelter at the Bartin anchorage on January 15th after encountering rain, strong winds and heavy seas. 

On January 17th around 1235 hrs the 46 year old vessel anchored off Bartin, her hull broke in half in heavy waves. The bridge team made a mayday call, but video evidence suggests that they did not immediately sound the general alarm within the first minutes of the incident. She split in two and sank shortly after; in video taken from another nearby ship, the chain of her port anchor is intermittently visible as the bow goes under (below).

There were 12 crewmembers on board, including two Russian nationals and 10 Ukrainian seafarers. The initial search was hampered by heavy weather, but six survivors were rescued. The bodies of three more were recovered from the wreck and three crewmembers remain missing.

A port state control inspection in Georgia last year found extensive deficiencies on board the ARVIN, including deck corrosion and ill-maintained weathertight hatches, according to her Equasis record. 

ARVIN was built in 1975 as VOLGO BALT 189 at Zavody Tazkeho Strojarstva in Komarno, Slovenia trading until September 1997. Then she was renamed as ARVIN and was homeported at Phnom Penh (KHM), Cambodia. At the time of sinking she was flagged in Palau

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Published – Wednesday 3rd February, 2021.