The border guards within the Coast Guard identified in the Black Sea, a Turkish fishing boat poaching in the Romanian Exclusive Economic Zone.
The crew of the fishing boat, consisting of 8 seamen, did not comply with the legal warnings of the border guards and attempted to escape the RBP vessel pursuit. For this reason, the border guards used gradually the weapons onboard of the vessel.
On 20.05.2019, at 06.50, with the support of SCOMAR system, during the surveillance and control missions in the Black Sea, a boat suspect of carrying out illegal fishing in the Romanian Exclusive Economic Zone was detected at approximately 52 nautical miles, at the East of Costineşti locality.
Immediately, the MAI 2112 vessel launched the pursuit of the boat, which subsequently was identified as being a boat under Turkish flag, with the inscription “BABA SENOL” that did not comply with the verbal warnings to allow the boarding and control operation, according to the legal proceedings.
Thus, during the pursuit, the border guards used all the legal means concerning the establishing of connection with the Turkish fishing boat: light signals, acoustic and radio signals, followed by warnings according to law. Due to their noncompliance, the border guards used gradually the weapons onboard of the vessel, carrying out warning shots under the law.
Another two ships within the Coast Guard intervened in order to support the Romanian Border Police vessel.
Around 14.40, the Turkish boat was stopped, and the border guards initiated the boarding of the boat; the crew of the fishing boat was transferred onboard of one of the RBP vessels. On this occasion, it was ascertained that three of the seamen had slight wounds due to the ricochet of the bullets – two of them had wounds on the legs and the third one on the hip (scratch). They were provided first aid. Also, they are out of danger, and at the arrival in Mangalia Port they were taken over by the County Ambulance Service –Mangalia unit, being transported to a medical unit in order to receive specialty medical care.
Also, due to the overloading of the fishing boat with fishing tackle and fish, as well as to the sudden maneuvers carried out by the seamen to avoid the boarding by the RBP vessels, the structure of the boat was damaged which led to its sinking.
In this case, the border guards from Constanţa will carry out investigations on the seamen under the coordination of the Prosecutor within the Prosecutor’s office attached to Constanţa Court; the legal measures will be undertaken at the completion of the investigation.
We mention that during the operation, Romanian Border Police was supported by the air support of a multirole combat aircraft, which was carrying out its duties within the Joint Maritime Operation for countering illegal migration, illegal fishing and maritime pollution at the Black Sea under Frontex aegis (European Border and Coast Guard Agency), together with EFCA (European Fisheries Control Agency) and EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency).