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Collision closes Bosphorus Strait

Shipping agent GAC is reporting a dry bulk ship has collided with a Turkish coast guard vessel resulting in the closure of the Bosphorus Strait, a vital tanker artery. Six people were rescued and are now in hospital. It remains unclear for how long the strait will remain closed.

This is the third time this year the strait has been closed – once in March for some bridge construction and also for a few hours in the middle of July as Turkey was gripped by a coup attempt.

The density of maritime traffic in the Bosphorus, which links the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea, has increased elevenfold from around 4,400 ships passing annually in 1936, when the Montreux Convention was signed to regulate transit and navigation in the Straits, to an average of 48,000 vessels per year recently.

Yesterday the general cargo vessel Volodimyr Sharkov had to be towed to a Turkish anchorage as it suffered mechanical failure while en route to Ukraine.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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