The Canakkale Strait was closed today
after a steering gear failure aboard the 39,000 dwt Chinook
caused the product tanker to swerve out of the fairway and run aground.
"From the evidence we have received so far,
the vesse's steering capability was considerably flawed,"
Klaus-Peter Timsreis, chartering and insurance manager
of the ship owner Ernst Jacob, told Fairplay.
The Strait partially reopened at 1430 today
and a full reopening is expected at 2100 tonight.
The 2001-built tanker is curently being checked by divers
for damage to the hull.
None of the 23 crew of the Chinook,
which had been on voyage charter carrying gasoline out of Novorossiysk
were injured in the event,
and no pollution has been reported.
The tanker is operated by BP Shipping
and is flagged in the Cayman Islands.