Moscow – A Russian naval reconnaissance ship sank Thursday after colliding with a freighter off Istanbul, but all crew members were rescued, the Defense Ministry said.
Turkey’s coastal safety authority said all 78 personnel from the Russian frigate Liman were safe, as were all crew aboard the freighter, the Togo-flagged Youzarsif H. The freighter was carrying livestock.
The Defense Ministry said a hole was punched in the starboard side of the Liman during the collision, which occurred around midday Thursday about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the Bosphorus Strait.
The cause of the collision wasn’t immediately clear.
The Liman was part of the Black Sea Fleet. The Interfax news agency reported that it spent much of the winter in the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria and returned to the Black Sea to monitor NATO exercises in February.
The rescued Russian sailors were all aboard a Turkish rescue vessel and would be picked up by a nearby Russian cargo ship, the Ulus Star, the ministry said, without specifying the number of crew members.
It said the cargo ship would deliver the sailors to the home base of the Black Sea Fleet, which is on Crimea, the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.