Russia has dispatched special teams and two salvage ships to Istanbul to raise the wreckage of a Russian vessel that sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast on Thursday after colliding with a vessel carrying livestock.
The Russian intelligence ship Liman sank 29 kilometers (18 miles) off Kilyos in Istanbul on Thursday, although all 78 personnel were rescued and returned to Russia.
The Russian Navy sent one of its most advanced search and rescue ships, the Seliger, as well as a new-generation rescue ship, the SB-739. Russian naval sources said the teams consisting of 16 naval personnel, nine specialists and a deep-water dive team will work to retrieve sensitive devices from the wreckage of the ship. If necessary, the whole ship could be salvaged, the sources said, while noting that climatic conditions in the Black Sea could present difficulties to the personnel.
Russia has search and rescue rights because the ship sank in international waters, said Turkish authorities, adding that they had not received any requests for assistance from Moscow.
The Turkish shipping agency GAC said the collision was caused by fog and low visibility. The other ship involved, the Togo-flagged freighter Youzarsif H., immediately proceeded to Romania after the incident, out of concern for the health condition of the animals onboard, according to officials.