On Apr 19, 2017, at 3.40 a.m. the "Geroi Arsenala" broke in two sank in the Kerch Strait 14 kilometers off the coast on a water depth of 100 meters. Seven crew members were missing, one Ukrainian man was rescued and four sighted for a moment in the water with life jackets, but then disappeared in the high waves. At 4 a.m. the MRCC Novorossiysk reported the disappearance of the vessel from the Kerch Strait Traffic Control Center radars.
It had been was transiting the Kerch Strait in southern direction, en route from Rostov-on-Don to Turkey with a cargo of grain.
At 5 a.m. the vessel was reported to have sunk. Four crew members were spotted in the water and seven more still missing, an SAR operation with units of the Navy, Coastguard and helicopters was under way. Involved were the "Episkop", "Armada Nawigator", "Barnet", "Ajgas" and "Aelos" as well as the tug "Demidow".
The man picked up from water was in critical condition, suffering from severe hypothermia. Two more were recovered dead in the morning. The remainder was not seen again. The water temperature was 7-8 degrees Celsius, on scene was stormy weather.
The crew included two Russians, among them the captain, nine Ukrainians and one Georgian nationalities.
There were 30 tons of fuel oil on board.
In this photo provided by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry press service, a turned over lifeboat is seen from a rescue helicopter over the Black Sea on Wednesday, 19 April 2017. (AP Photo/Ministry of Emergency Situations press service via AP)