Romanian minesweeper hits mine in Black Sea — Analysis
Russia earlier warned of the danger posed by drifting Ukrainian mines to maritime navigation within the region
A Romanian military vessel designed to remove sea mines hit one during a mission in the Black Sea, the country’s Navy has revealed.
According to a statement, the incident involving the ‘Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu’ minesweeper happened on Thursday. It is believed that the ship had arrived to destroy a mine previously discovered by another vessel. But, as the Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolasescu approached the free-drifting mine, wind picked up and stopped the crew being able to accomplish the task.
The mine ultimately struck the ship. According to the Romanian Navy the explosion caused minor damage to the compartment in the rear of the minesweeper.
“The 75 soldiers of the ship’s crew are not in danger,” the statement added, with no casualties reported.
The minesweeper’s buoyancy was not undermined as a result of the incident, with the crew moving in quickly to plug the hole, officials added.
A second Romanian Navy Ship left Constanta, to help with the rescue of the minesweeper.
There is no information available about the country that the mine was, located approximately 46 km from the port.
According to Romanian media outlet Monitorul, this is the third sea mine to have entered the country’s territorial waters since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February. Since then several other sea mines were also neutralized by both the Turkish and Bulgarian Navigations.
Russia warned repeatedly that seamines placed by Ukraine at the beginning of conflict might pose a risk to navigation in the Black Sea. They also stated that certain of them drifted from their intended locations on numerous occasions.
Russia was accused of placing civilian ships at grave risk by Ukraine’s actions.
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