Russian Navy Reportedly Sinks Fishing Trawler in Accidental Missile Strike, Baltic Sea

On March 19th, 2024, reports emegered that the trawling vessel Captain Lobanov sunk after suffering an onboard fire off the coast of Kaliningrad near Pionersky. Three crew members were killed and four injured crew members were recovered from the sea by another vessel. They were transported on shore and now their first-hand accounts have been published.

According to Russian Telegram News Page TvRain a relative of one of the crew members reported that the fishing vessel was struck by a missile. The surviving crew members were interrogated by the FSB at their hospital in Pionersk and told not to speak about the incident. Their report reads below:

“A relative of a crew member of the trawler “Captain Lobanov” confirmed…that the ship was mistakenly hit by a Navy missile. As a result of a missile hitting the fishing trawler Kapitan Lobanov on March 19, three crew members were killed and four more were injure…The missile that hit the trawler was fired during a Baltic Fleet exercise…Before the incident, the trawler’s crew members were about to go to bed when a rocket fell on the captain’s cabin.”

The survivor’s family went on to disparage authorities that announced a fire had sunk the vessel, considering the entire cabin was destroyed in a blast. Their report continues:

“The survivors were sent to a hospital in the city of Pionersk; one of the victims is in serious condition. According to the source, at the hospital the victims were interrogated by FSB officers, who asked the crew members “not to talk about the incident…Another missile, according to the source, fell into fishing nets near the industrial vessel of the MRTK company, which was located not far from the trawler “Captain Lobanov”.

It is not currently clear if the Black Sea Fleet or Coastal Missile Defense batteries were conducting an exercise in the Black Sea or if this was an errant engagement.

United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.


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