Russian spy ship collides with freighter, sinks in Black Sea

Last Updated Apr 27, 2017 8:53 AM EDT

MOSCOW -- A Russian naval reconnaissance ship sunk in the Black Sea Thursday after colliding with a freighter near the Turkish coast.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the collision occurred about 25 miles northwest of the Bosphorus Strait and left a hole in the hull of the Liman. The ministry statement, carried by Russian news agencies, said none of the crew members was hurt.

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Russian Navy's reconnaissance ship Liman of the Black Sea fleet sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, October 21, 2016.

REUTERS

A Turkish coastal official told the Reuters news agency that almost 80 personnel from the Russian ship had been safely evacuated from the stricken vessel, which sunk near Bosphorus, Turkey.

Turkey's state-run news agency said the prime minister had called his Russian counterpart to express his "sadness" over the collision.

Anadolu Agency said Prime Minister Binali Yildirim spoke by phone with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev soon after the collision.

A shipping agent contacted by the Reuters news agency said the Togo-flagged freighter and the Russian warship collided in foggy conditions with poor visibility.

Russia has goaded the Trump administration this year with a couple spy ship voyages along the U.S. East Coast -- coming within just 17 miles of land at one point. 

The Russian ship involved in the February and March trips, which never entered U.S. territorial waters, was the Viktor Leonov, known as an AGI (Auxiliary, General Intelligence) trawler.