A merchant ship carrying the flag of Dominica has sunk after being attacked and completely destroyed by Russian forces at the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Tuesday.
In a statement the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration (DMA) condemned the sinking of the vessel, the Azburg.
“On 4th April 2022, the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration received information that as a result of the attack and spreading fire, m.v. AZBURG sank at berth 16 in the port of Mariupol Port, Ukraine,” the DMA said. “The crew managed to evacuate and found refuge on board of neighboring vessels. One person was found wounded and received medical assistance. The crew currently remains under an immense amount of fear and stress and needs to be evacuated to a safe area immediately.”
According to the DMA, the ship was hit by two missiles shells and Russian armed forces had fired upon it after ‘intentionally’ shelling it two times a day previously.
Reports indicate the vessel was without cargo when it was hit.
The DMA called on the Russian Federation to pull its forces from Ukraine, respecting its obligations under international conventions.
“We urgently call upon all relevant UN, governmental and industry bodies to take immediate and direct action to address this serious issue for health and wellbeing of humans, the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships,” it said. “The immediate evacuation of all civilians from the port of Mariupol, including the entire crew of mv Azburg, should be organized with the highest degree of priority and urgency.”
According to Reuters, Russian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The international news organization said a senior official with Ukraine’s Maritime Administration said that the ship had been hit by a Russian navy missile.
In the past, Russia had said it was not targeting civilians.
According to marinetraffic.com the Azburg is a cargo/container ship.