Minor collision between Turkish merchant vessel, Greek navy ship

Li Jiayao

ATHENS, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The Hellenic Navy General Staff on Friday announced that a Turkish-flagged merchant ship "Karmate" approached and slightly collided with the Hellenic Navy gunboat "Armatolos" in the sea southeast of Lesvos island in the early hours of Friday morning.

According to the announcement posted on Greek national news agency AMNA, there were no injuries or serious damage and no pollution of the marine environment as a result.

Noting that the Turkish ship had been in violation of navigation rules for avoiding collisions at sea, it added that the Greek side will take all the necessary steps for the imposition of penal and civil sanctions on the basis of international maritime law.

After striking the Greek gunboat, the "Karmate" increased speed and sailed toward the nearest Turkish shore, ignoring attempts by the "Armatolos" to hail it on the radio.

Coast guard authorities and NATO authorities have also been alerted to the incident, which took place during a planned patrol by the "Armatolos" during the NATO operation "Aegean Activity" to combat migration flows in the Aegean.


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