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Spanish warship runs aground during aircraft salvage effort

Image: Salvamento Marítimo

The Spanish Navy has confirmed that one of its vessels ran aground while assisting in the recovery of a Spanish Air Force jet trainer that had crashed in the Mediterranean earlier this week, killing its pilot.

The minesweeper Turia came to rest on a shallow area approximately 200 metres from the shore near La Manga in Murcia at around 22:30 local time on Tuesday, August 27.

The grounding caused a hull breach, and various compartments on the vessel began taking on water almost immediately.

The crew then abandoned ship and were picked up out of the water by other vessels that were involved in the effort to salvage the downed aircraft. No injuries have been reported.

The Spanish Ministry of Defence has assured the local press that Turia‘s fuel tanks were not damaged in the incident even though some of the crew have claimed that they smelled fumes immediately after the grounding, forcing them to evacuate quickly.

Turia has been in the same position since Tuesday evening as efforts to refloat it have been repeatedly hampered by bad weather in the area.

Refloating will commence once all the fuel in the minesweeper’s tanks has been transferred to a waiting barge.

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