Captain of Ukrainian grain ship on 'dangerous' voyage

STORY: "As a three ship convoy escorted by another boat and a maritime pilot, we sailed northeast, to Odesa, navigating through narrow corridors," said Ahmet Yucel Alibeyler, whose ship Polarnet arrived in Turkish waters three days after leaving Ukraine.

The Polarnet ship, carrying more than 13,200 tons of corn, had been stranded in Ukraine’s southern Chornormorsk port since February and left the port on Friday (August 5).

A landmark deal between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by Ankara and the United Nations, reopened grain and fertilizer exports that have been blocked by the war between the two countries, to ease an international food crisis.

The Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) oversees departures from three Ukrainian ports in which ships must circumvent mines, and conducts inspections of incoming ships for weapons.