Ship traffic in the Bosphorus was suspended for nearly four hours after a stray sea mine was discovered. Traffic resumed after Turkish services removed the mine.
An official from the Coastal Safety Directorate said the Bosphorus was closed from 11:25 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. (local time) due to the suspected mining hazard. Ships at the two entrances to the strait were told to wait.
Earlier in the day, the Turkish Defense Ministry said a team of divers had discovered a “mine-like object” floating north of Istanbul. The team was dispatched after a tip-off of a merchant ship. In the meantime, the divers were able to “disable” the object.
40,000 ships annually
The Bosphorus is an important strait that connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. On average, more than 40,000 ships cross the Bosphorus each year, according to the Coastal Safety Directorate.
Last week, Russia reported hundreds of Ukrainian mines floating in the Black Sea. They were said to have been tied up with cables in Ukrainian ports, but were released due to bad weather. The authorities in Ukraine denied and said they had no information about the mines drifting towards the sea.
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