Sinking of R/V Thetis south of Sicily
August 2007, CIESM News

On August 4th, on a clear day, about 4 miles south of the coast of Sicily, the Italian Research Vessel “Thetis” was sunk following a collision with the merchant vessel "Heleni" registered in Panama. All 14 people on board, including eight marine biologists, were rapidly rescued - some with serious injuries - from the waters, except for Dr Pyotr Mikheichik, 53, a Russian researcher from Moscow whose body was found two days later. The scientific team on board was working within an Italian/Russian bilateral collaboration to test new equipment for oceanographic monitoring. On behalf of CIESM the Director General did send a message of condolences expressing the sympathy of the entire Mediterranean research community to the CNR. Italian maritime authorities are investigating the cause of the collision.