Ukrainian crewmembers of Panama-registered oil tanker detained in Egypt returning home
Ukrainian crewmembers of a Panama-registered oil tanker, Sea Shark, detained in Egypt are returning home.
Five of the 17 detained Ukrainian sailors are expected to arrive at Odesa Airport on Monday, May 27, the Ukrayinska Pravda online newspaper reported, referring to the Assol Seamen Relief Fund.
"A report came late on May 25 that the rest of the crew, along with the Ukrainian captain, had been released and sent to a hotel. All are waiting for documents to be issued and they will return home," the Fund said.
The tanker filled with crude oil was kept Egypt's Ein El Sokhna Port in December 2018.
The crew consisted of 31 people, including 17 Ukrainians and two sailors from Russia-occupied Crimea, 11 citizens of India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and another one from Azerbaijan.
As UNIAN reported earlier, a member of the Sea Shark crew informed Ukraine's Embassy in Egypt about the detention of the oil tanker by the Egyptian authorities for the violation of Egypt's borders.
The captain of the vessel, Vitaliy Nesterenko, confirmed that the vessel had gone adrift and accidentally entered into the territorial waters of Egypt. At that time, the ship was in the port of Berenice (subordinate to the Ministry of Defense of Egypt).
The Egyptian side fined the shipowner company over the said offense and the crew's passports were seized.
Having receiving the relevant permission of the Egyptian naval forces, the Sea Shark vessel was on April 25 removed from the anchor in the port of Berenice and departed to Egypt's Ein El Sokhna Port, located 100 km from Cairo, where the replacement of crew members was to take place. Yet, on April 27, when the ship arrived at the port of Ein El Sokhna, the Egyptian military prosecutor's office demanded that the crew unload the crude oil the ship was carrying over an alleged environmental threat that is possible if it leaked into the water area.