Bosphorus traffic paused as giant drilling rig passes
The Bosphorus strait connecting the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea was closed to transit traffic in both directions for about seven hours while the giant deep-water drilling rig, Scarabeo 9, passed through.
The 115-meter-long Bhamas-flagged vessel entered the Bosphorus from the Marmara Sea at around 6:30 a.m. local time and reached the Black Sea in the afternoon. It was accompanied by more than 10 pilot boats, guard ships and towing boats. Its normal height of 84 meters was lowered to 58 meters in order to make a safe passage under the three bridges spanning over the Bosphorus.
Every year, more than 25,000 vessels pass through Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait, which famously divides Europe and Asia.
Scarabeo 9 is owned and operated by Italian company Saipem, which has been contracted for designing and constructing several pipelines, including Blue Stream, Greenstream, Nord Stream and South Stream.