Distressed Ukrainian freighter abandoned in Aegean sea UPDATE

General cargo ship NEW LEO was disabled in Aegean sea in the morning Dec 4, while en route from Elevsis Greece to Gemlik Turkey, with cargo of steel. Caught in rough seas, the ship experienced heavy pitching and rolling, which caused cargo shift and subsequently, heavy list. The ship issued distress signal. Greek Coast Guard and Navy jointly carried out rescue operation, 14 crew, all Ukrainians, were airlifted to safety, according to Greek and Ukrainian sources. Ship’s condition unknown, last AIS timed 0500 UTC, the ship by that time was already distressed, not under way. She may still be afloat.

Dec 5 UPDATE: Abandoned ship was taken on tow by tugs PANTOCRATOR (IMO 9376880), APOLLON (IMO 7431806) and VERNICOS SIFNOS (IMO 9420435) early Dec 5, an operation required towline handling team to board NEW LEO. As of 1230 UTC Dec 5, caravan was approaching Psara island, most likely for shelter and emergency procedures, necessary to reduce heavy list.

General cargo ship NEW LEO, IMO 9113044, dwt 5820, built 1997, flag Liberia, manager PRESTIGE LTD, Odessa, Ukraine.

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Hi! My name is Stepan Kotcherga, I’m Merchant Marine Navigation Officer, now a Second Officer working on dry cargo ships. My home is in Ukraine. I’m contributing maritime news and inside info.