A giant Panama-flagged oil platform sailed through the Bosphorus Strait on Feb. 5, making its way toward the Black Sea via the route cutting through Europe and Asia a couple of hours after a mind-blowing search and rescue drill was carried out by local volunteers.
The platform, named “GSP Saturn” and weighing 5,235 gross tons, made its second attempt on the Istanbul waters on Feb. 5 after a failed attempt on Jan. 31.
The colossal oil tanker, which measures 52.4 meters in length, entered the Bosphorus waters at around 10:00 a.m. local time and made its way under the July 15 Martyr’s Bridge at noon after its towers were lowered for its passage.
The oil rig passed under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge at around 3:00 p.m. local time, Doğan News Agency reported.
Drill before transit
Before the grand transit, a thorough sea and land search-and-rescue drill joined by nearly 400 volunteers was conducted in Istanbul.
The drill named “Barbaros 2018 Tatbikatı,” meaning Barbaros 2018 Drill, included eleven dinghies, one chopper and three planes and was conducted off the Çatladıkapı shore by the Fatih Municipality.
Volunteers from organizations such as the Sea Search and Rescue Volunteers (SAR), Istanbul Municipality Youth Council, Coast Guard, Maritime Police, Istanbul Fire Authority and the Turkish Waters Search and Rescue Association took part in the drill, which presented thrilling scenes for onlookers.
The teams rescued a group of four people who were left stranded on a fisherman’s boat.
In order to get to them safely, the teams first located the victims using a scout plane, and then dropped smoke bombs on the positions.
Finally, the scout planes and the rescue boats approached the scene and saved the victims, as cameras recorded the action-packed moments.