Bosphorus strait: Black Sea blocked as grain ship runs aground – marine traffic halts | World | News

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A tweet by Steve Herman, chief national correspondent of Voice of America news, said:Cargo ship #LadyZehma, carrying 3,000 tons of corn from #, has drifted aground in the strait, reportedly halting shipping through .” Mr Herman also shared a Marine Traffic map showing the location of the ship.

The Istanbul governor’s office confirmed the 173-metre vessel was safely grounded and anchored after a rudder failure around 6pm GMT, in the first such incident  since a United Nations-brokered export deal in July.

No one was hurt and Coast Guards were attending, it said.

The ship’s bow was about 150 metres from shore in the busy Bebek neighbourhood, according to a witness and Refinitiv Eikon data.

Earlier this week the Joint Coordination Centre – run by the United Nations, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey after a grains-export deal was reached – said the Lady Zehma was cleared to depart Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port for Ravenna, Italy.

Lady Zehma Bosphorus

Lady Zehma, laden with 3,000 tonnes of grain, has run aground (Image: KEGM)

Steve Herman

Steve Herman’s tweet – and map (Image: Twitter)

Ukraine’s grain exports slumped after Russia invaded the country on February 24 and blockaded its Black Sea ports, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Three ports were unblocked under the deal signed on July 22 by Moscow and Kyiv, and brokered by the UN and Ankara.

The Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) – which oversees the agreement and includes UN, Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish officials – said the ship “got stranded during her passage from the strait (and) an emergency boarding operation is underway” by Turkish authorities.

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Lady Zehma

Lady Zehma is 173 feet in length (Image: KEGM)

Turkey’s Directorate General of Coastal Safety (KEGM) shared a picture of the operation to secure the ship earlier.

It commented: “While cruising from Ukraine to Istanbul, the 173 m. LADY ZEHMA, which ran aground due to a rudder failure and anchored in Bebek Bay.

“Our KURTARMA-5, KURTARMA-6 KURTARMA-9, KURTARMA-12, NAZIM TUR Tugs, KEGM-3, KEGM-5 Boats were dispatched to the scene.”

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Lady Zehma

Lady Zehma was heading for Italy (Image: KEGM)

Lady Zehma

Lady Zehma sails under the flag of Panama (Image: KEGM)

Writing on Telegram earlier this week, Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov said: “Today, six ships departed from the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi at once.

“Among them is the Karteria ship, chartered by the UN World Food Program to help the population of Yemen.

A total of 183,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain is on board the ships Seajoy, Lady Zehma, Saffet Aga, Simas, Michallis, and Karteria, he pointed out.


The Bosphorus provides access from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, via the Sea of Marmaris (Image: GETTY)

Mr Kubrakov added: “In less than a month of the Initiative’s work, we exported almost one and a half million tonnes of agricultural products, which is quite a significant result.

“However, we have to send 100-150 vessels per month with a total monthly capacity of 5 million tonnes from the three ports of Greater Odesa.”

As of Wednesday, some 1.55 million tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs had been exported from Ukraine under the deal, while 139 inbound and outbound voyages had been enabled, the JCC said.

Navi Star Bosphorus

Navi-Star carrying 33,000 tons of corn from Ukraine to Ireland last month (Image: GETTY)

The Bosphorus is a strategically vital waterway offering accessing to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean, via the Sea of Marmaris.

It is less than half a mile wide at its narrowest point, and has a maximum depth of 360 feet. 

Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city, is located at the intersection of the Bosphorus, hence existing partly in Europe and partly in Asia.

Lady Zehma is a General Cargo Ship which was built in 2005, and which currently sails under the flag of Panama, according to

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