Race against time to rescue sheep trapped in capsized cargo ship

26 November 2019, 19:12

Animal rescuers are trying to recover survivors from an overturned cargo ship
Animal rescuers are trying to recover survivors from an overturned cargo ship. Picture: Animals International/ ISU Constanta

By Kate Buck

Animal rescuers are in a race against time to rescue trapped sheep onboard a partially-submerged cargo ship off the coast of Romania.

The Queen Hind capsized shortly after leaving the port of Midia on Sunday with 14,600 sheep on board bound for Saudi Arabia.

The crew of 20 Syrians and one Lebanese have been rescued safely.

But so far, only 32 sheep have been pulled out of the wreckage alive, with two being pulled out of the water.

Rescuers had temporarily halted efforts to recover surviving sheep, but began again this morning after hearing sounds from below deck which indicated some were still alive.

The Queen Hind capsized on Sunday afternoon
The Queen Hind capsized on Sunday afternoon. Picture: ISU Costanta
32 sheep have been recovered
32 sheep have been recovered. Picture: ISU Costanta
Animal activists are still looking for survivors
Animal activists are still looking for survivors. Picture: Animals International

Pictures shared by activist group Animals International has shared a number of photos and videos of sheep lying lifeless in the water after spilling out of the overturned vessel.

It is not yet known what caused the ship to overturn, and an investigation has been launched into the tragedy.

Romania's main livestock breeders and exporters' association, Acebop, has said it is "shocked by the disaster".

Spokeswoman for the rescue services, Ana-Maria Stoica, said: "Today we are trying to eliminate the cargo on the upper deck (bales of fodder) to reduce the weight of the ship and put it back in a floating position to tow it to the port."

Once this was done, she said, they would be able to recover the bodies.

14,600 sheep were on board
14,600 sheep were on board. Picture: Animals International
The crew were all rescued safely
The crew were all rescued safely. Picture: ISU Costanta

Mihaita Gheba, chief of the local veterinary authority, said the dead sheep would be burned while any survivors would be returned to the breeder.

Romania, who joined the EU in 2007, is one of the bloc's largest sheep breeders after Britain and Spain.

It is also among some of the top exporters, with many of their cargo ships a year leaving for the Middle East.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Tom Hilton said internet sleuths should 'show some respect'

'Show some respect': Teenager wounded in machete attack by Jay Slater gang tells internet sleuths 'to help find him'

Julian Assange Assange was released from Belmarsh Prison in London and boarded a private jet

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange leaves UK after being freed in US plea deal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reached a plea deal.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to US after reaching plea deal

Spanish police are investigating if Jay's 'background' is relevant to the disappearance.

Spanish police searching for Jay Slater investigate if teenager’s background is ‘relevant’ to his disappearance

At least two people have died in the fire

At least two dead as Moscow defence research centre bursts into flames ‘with staff trapped inside’

Parisians along River Seine, below Cathedral Notre Dame celebrate Fête de la Musique - annual city-wide music festival each June

British woman 'gang-raped in Paris at music festival'

Jay Slater's father has urged people to come forward if they have any information on his son's disappearance

'Someone must know something': Jay Slater's father speaks out as search for missing son stretches into second week

Jay Slater's family have shared an image of what is believed to be the last sighting of him

Spanish police issue update on missing Jay Slater after family share CCTV of mystery figure believed to be teen

Jay Slater's family have shared an image of what is believed to be the last sighting of him

Missing Jay Slater's 'last sighting' in Tenerife: Family share CCTV of mystery figure believed to be teen

Hosts of Izmir Wildlife Park

Mother in 'serious condition' after being viciously mauled by wolf pack during jog through safari park

Tamayo Perry was killed in a shark attack.

Pirates of the Caribbean star mauled to death by shark while surfing in Hawaii

Debbie Duncan with Jay Slater

'I hope I'm not taking him home in a body bag': Jay Slater's mum feels 'let down' by conspiracy theories about her son

Barcelona is set to crack down on Airbnbs

Barcelona announces plans to ban holiday rentals for tourists from 2028

Hungary's Kevin Csoboth, bottom, shoots past Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn, top, during a Group A match between Scotland and Hungary at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Scotland knocked out of Euro 2024 following Hungary's 100th-minute goal as collision sees star stretchered off

Terror in Russia: Gunmen open fire at two synagogues killing six police before slitting priest's throat at Orthodox Church

Terror in Russia: Gunmen open fire at synagogue and Orthodox churches killing 15 police officers

Detective who probed Nicola Bulley offers services to Jay Slater's family as search for teen enters its second week

Investigator who probed Nicola Bulley offers services to Jay Slater's family as search targets remote buildings