Was the captain of the ship that hit the Baltimore bridge Ukrainian?

The accident spurred a wave of conspiracy theories
The accident spurred a wave of conspiracy theories Copyright Steve Helber/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Steve Helber/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Sophia Khatsenkova
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The destruction of the bridge spurred a flurry of conspiracy theories – one conspiracy theory that gained a lot of traction on social media is that Ukraine might be to blame.

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A container ship named Dali lost propulsion and crashed into a pillar of Batimore’s Francis Scott Key bridge on March 26th – killing at least six people. 

Very quickly, social media users started blaming everyone and anyone for the incident – from the liberals to Israel to Ukraine.

One such example that has gone viral is that Kyiv is behind the following allegations the captain of the ship is of Ukrainian nationality.

"The captain of the ship that rammed down the bridge in Baltimore was a citizen of Ukraine," tweeted multiple users.

"Ukrainian is taking credit for the act and saying Europe is next, for not defending democracy and helping Ukraine when they needed it," posted another.

One claim these accounts make is shown is a screenshot of a profile of a Ukrainian captain from a website called Baltic Shipping. 

The website is a sort of LinkedIn that connects people from the shipping industry looking for work.

Users can update their profiles with information about their employment and on which ships they have previously worked. 

There was indeed a profile of a Ukrainian man who had been the captain of the Dali ship – however, this was around eight years ago – from March to July 2016. His profile is no longer visible but we found archived screen grabs.

Synergy Marine Group, the owner of the Dali ship also released a statement claiming the crew of 22 members was composed of Indian citizens. 

But the nationality of the captain operating the boat when the accident happened isn’t relevant. That’s because once a foreign ship enters the Port of Baltimore, it’s an employee of the State of Maryland that has to steer the ship to dock, according to the Maryland Pilot Association.

"Each ship engaged in foreign trade coming to Maryland ports is required to take on a local ship handling specialist, known as the Pilot, to navigate the vessel safely into port," says their website. 

Moreover, officials investigating the crash said early on that there was no indication the crash was a deliberate act.

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