In the Black Sea, near the coast of Tarkhankut in the Crimea, there is the wreck of a ship that was abandoned by its owner when the cost of saving it proved too much.
The Ibrahim Yakim was a dry cargo ship that was sailing from Nikolaev to Turkey under the flag of Cambodia. There were 15 crew members on board: 12 citizens of Syria and three Indian citizens.
On the night of December 17-18, 2010, the ship encountered a great storm which was calculated to reach level five on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The captain tried to drop anchor at Cape Tarkhankut, but the anchor was torn off, leaving a hole in the ship.
By that point, the waves were up to three meters high, so the ship ended up being buffeted by the force onto the rocks 750 meters (820 yards) from the shore.
At 10 pm, when it was obvious the ship could not be saved, the crew sent a rocket into the sky, signaling distress and a shipwreck.
Because of the terrible weather conditions, which included winds of 15-20 meters per second, and the darkness of the night, a rescue operation only commenced on December 18, when things were a little calmer.
All of the crew survived and were rescued. They were put up in a boarding house where they were given food and fresh clothes.
Along with 5,000 tons of metal, the Ibrahim Yakim was carrying 400 tons of fuel and 2,200 liters of lubricants. Such cargo could provide a serious threat to the environment if it leaked, so in January 2011, an effort was made to empty the ship before any damage to the sea could be sustained.
The plan was that, after the cargo had been unloaded and the fuel pumped away, the wrecked ship would be removed to shore. But the Syrian company that owned the Ibrahim Yakim was slow to reply to communications, holding up the entire operations.
It soon became clear that the owner had decided that it would be cheaper to leave the boat shipwrecked than to try and repair it.
The State Administration of Sea and River Transport of Ukraine even ended up footing the bill for the fuel removal because the owner could not be tracked down and forced to pay the costs. By way of small recompense, the cargo of the ship was seized.
After that, the Ibrahim Yakim was left were it was to rust and disintegrate. But its dramatic appearance on the Crimean skyline has attracted many curious visitors. Access to the ship can only be obtained by renting a boat or swimming. Divers also love exploring the lower portions of the wreck.
By 2018, only the upper parts of the structure where the bridge was located is still in evidence. What happened to the bow is uncertain. Some say that a further storm broke the ship in two and the bow was carried out to sea. Others say that the metal was scavenged and removed.
No doubt the sea will claim the ship as its own completely one day. But until then, the wreck of the Ibrahim Yakim will continue to attract explorers and photographers alike, as well as seabirds who like to rest their weary wings by perching on the railings.
A big thank you to Alexandr and his LiveJournal account for sharing such amazing photographs of this wreck with us.
Alex lives in Germany and has got an account where he writes about different locations. He has written his own article about this location where you can find more of his photos. You should definitely check out his LiveJournal account and Facebook page.
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