Fire on Bulker Temporarily Suspends Traffic on the Dardanelles

bulker fire
Turkish rescue boats responding to the fire on a bulker that closed the Dardanelles (KEGM)

Published Apr 26, 2024 11:46 AM by The Maritime Executive


Turkey’s Directorate General of Coastal Safety reported that traffic on the strategic Dardanelles Strait was temporarily suspended during the response to an engine room fire on a bulker. The AK Discovery (7,500 dwt) was inbound to the Black Sea and the Bulgarian port of Varna when she reported a fire aboard.

The vessel built in 2001 is registered in Barbados and was coming from Egypt. She is owned and managed from Greece.



The fire was believed to have begun in the engine room. Smoke could be seen coming from the 352-foot (107.5-meter) vessel which was stopped in the critical waterway.


Bulker drifting in the Dardanelles caused the authorities to suspend traffic in both directions (KEGM)


The Turkish authorities reported that two rescue boats, a fast response vessel, and a pilot boat were all dispatched to the disabled bulker. Images show the rescue boats spraying water on the funnel and stern area of the vessel. The fire was later reported extinguished while the rescue boats continued to cool the area of the ship. 

Once it was determined safe, Rescue-13 was assigned to tow the bulker into a safe anchorage. Traffic was then resumed on the Dardanelles.

The Turkish Coast Guard is investigating the origins of the fire and to ensure the safety of the waterway. The AK Discovery had been cited during a Port State Inspection in Egypt at the beginning of April for issues with its auxiliary engine which was deemed to be "not as required." The vessel, however, was not detained during the inspection.