The General Director of the Romanian Naval Authority (ANR), Cosmin-Laurentiu Dumitrache, declared on Monday, in southeastern Constanta, that the authorities do not have any reliable information regarding the spot where the fishing vessel Sea Shark 1 sank, with five crew members on board, given that no SOS signal has been issued and this type of ship is not required to have monitoring equipment.
He said authorities were alerted Monday morning by employees at the company that owns the boat.
"So far, we have managed to recover three of the bodies, unfortunately. We were informed at 8.25 this morning (Monday, ed. n.) that the fishing vessel Sea Shark 1 has not returned to port. (...) According to their colleagues the last contact with them occurred at 6.30 pm on Sunday, May 16. Nobody knows, we don't have any provable information about the place where the ship sank, we assume that there was an incident after the towing, but we don't know, we have no way of knowing, we can only assume," said Cosmin-Laurentiu Dumitrache.
He mentioned that this type of fishing vessel pulls a net, with a certain load caught, and if this net "is not trawled correctly or if the maneuver is not performed correctly, it can lead to the overturning of the boat".
According to the legislation, the monitoring equipment is not necessary, these ships remaining in the coastal area, with radio coverage all the time.
"No one issued any SOS signal, their colleagues told us that they did not return," said the ANR director, who added that the ship allegedly sank very quickly and the crew members didn't have any more time to make a call for help by radiotelephone.
At the same time, the ANR director mentioned that a criminal investigation file was opened in connection with this event, in rem, "probably for damaging the boat and involuntary manslaughter".
Dumitrache also mentioned that on Monday there were five boats involved in the search operation, two from the Romanian Agency for Saving Human Life at Sea - ARSVOM and three from the Ministry of Interior, as well as two helicopters. At dusk, the search-rescue operations are interrupted, said the official ANR.