Stranded Turkish Cargo Ship Damaged by Russian Missile Strike on Ukraine

Kherson Ukraine
Kherson port was targeted in the latest Russian attacks (Vladimir Yaitskiy 0 CC BY-SA 3.0)

Published Feb 28, 2024 1:57 PM by The Maritime Executive


A Turkish general cargo ship stranded in Ukraine since the start of the war two years ago has become the latest victim of the fighting. Turkish media has confirmed that the vessel was damaged in the latest Russian assault on the Kherson region and is expected to sink at its dock.

Russian forces unleashed a barrage of rockets on the region overnight according to the district administrator. He reports that in addition to the cargo ship, 12 high-rise apartment buildings were stuck, 15 private homes, a farm, and a grain elevator. One person was reported to have been killed and two others were injured. Separate drone attacks included nine shot down in the Odesa region and one in the Mykolaiv region.

The dry cargo ship Kuruoglu 3, operated by Turkey’s Kuruglu Maritime Company arrived in Kherson on February 22, 2022, with a company official telling Turkish Deniz Media that the vessel was there to unload 2,800 metric tons of urea when it became trapped by the start of the war. Efforts to get the vessel released were unsuccessful as Kherson was not included in the grain deal or the subsequent Ukrainian established corridor.



The company told the Turkish media that two missiles were fired into the area and struck the ship which was built in 1990. The ship is 7,600 dwt and approximately 358 feet (109 meters) in length. It is unclear if the crew had remained aboard the ship. 

The media reports showed pictures of the ship listing away from the dock with the company saying it was taking on water. He said the ship was held by the ropes but they expected the lines to break and the ship to sink alongside the dock.

Last year, Turkish President Erdogan said that 12 Turkish vessels were stranded in Ukrainian ports and that they were trying to get the vessels released.  A spokesperson for the shipowners and operators association told the Turkish media that they believed as many as 60 foreign flag ships are also still stranded in Ukraine’s ports. A few of the ships stranded in Ukraine were able to use the corridor established in August 2023 and departed but the ones beyond the three primary ports have been unable to depart.

Top photo by Vladimir Yaitskiy (CC BY-SA 3.0)