15 March 2019, 17:26

Before Russia built a bridge to annexed Crimea vessels did not have such problems. Ship Maryland ran aground in the Kerch Strait.

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The bulk carrier Maryland with a cargo of metal flying the flag of Liberia, en route from Mariupol to Venice, ran aground in the Kerch Strait. It happened not far from the illegally constructed bridge to the Russia-annexed Crimea.

Interfax reported the incident with reference to the press service of the Russian Federal Agency of Sea and River Transport Rosmorrechflot.

It became known that the ship ran on the edge of the Kerch-Yenikalsky Canal. Four tugboats tried to re-float Maryland, but they failed.

“The vessel is still there, until tomorrow for sure,” the agency quoted its source.

According to the online service for tracking ships and ships in real time on the AIS map MarineTraffic map, this ship left Mariupol at 6:13 pm on March 11, 2019. As of 21:20 on March 14, the vessel was located in the Kerch Strait near the Kerch Bridge illegally built by Russia (from the Sea of Azov) with anchored status.

The draft of Maryland is 7.7 meters. Before the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, the operational depths of the Kerch-Yenikalsky Canal exceeded 9 meters.

Earlier, QHA media reported that in less than the last four years, the Kerch access channel had gone lower twice due to the construction of a bridge from Russia to the illegally annexed Crimea. The fact was also evidenced with information received from the administration unit of the Kerch port. Dockworkers connected it with the changed hydrodynamics in the Kerch Strait.

Thus, the flow of water from the Sea of Azov brings sand and silt, which cannot properly pass by the supports of the bridge, creating the “comb” effect. The flow of water tends to go around the bridge, so the mud is brought into the water area of the Kerch Bay, which is beginning to shallow.