Confirmed it’s BELLATRIX, she issued distress signal in the morning Apr 8, reporting fire in engine room and requesting assistance. MRCC Italy was coordinating rescue operation, 12 crew, all said to be Russian, were rescued by nearby general cargo ship ARIFE (IMO 9266322), abandoned BELLATRIX is said to be towed to Aliaga Turkey, if salvors manage to extinguish fire. Italian sources report BELLATRIX to be Russia flagged, but according to all available databases, she’s registered under Bolivia flag and operated by Ukrainian company, so the crew should be either Ukrainian or mixed Ukrainian and Russian.
Initial news: The ship BELLATRIX reported on fire, drifting in Mediterranean in vicinity 36 26N 018 42E, halfway between Sicily and Peloponnese Greece. Probably it’s general cargo BELLATRIX, en route from Libya to Samsun Turkey, last AIS position dated late Apr 2, north of Khoms Libya.
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