Bangladesh Shipping Corporation’s bulker, Bnaglar Samriddhi, was hit by a missile in Ukrainian waters. A fire broke out, killing the ship’s third engineer, Hadisur Rahman. The rest of the crew members survived and managed to extinguish the fire.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the vessel was stranded at Olvia port on the Black Sea. It seems that it was caught in the crossfire between the Russian and Ukrainian troops over the Southern Buh River.
There have been incidents of several other vessels becoming victims of military fire. Missiles struck two bulk carriers and a chemical tanker in the initial days of the conflict. There are also have been reports of Russian forces detaining merchant ships.
Kitack Lim, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organisation, made a statement stressing the safety of the seafarers. He argued that the shipping community, especially the seafarers, cannot be the collateral victim in the political or military crisis.
The seafarers’ security levels and entitlements have been increased in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov regions. It came from the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), designating them as Warlike Operations Areas. Under this classification, seafarers onboard IBF-covered ships are entitled to several bonuses, compensations, and reliefs.