Arctic Sea Round-up – How Much Is A Seafarer’s Life Worth In Europe?

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Aug 192009

imageAs the two-week kerfuffle over the disappearance, or not, of the 4,000 tonne Arctic Sea and her 15 man crew fades fro memory here’s a quick round up:

The Maritime Administration of Malta has issued the following announcement, which covers most bases:

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Maritime Safety & Security News – 19 August 2009

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Aug 182009

Vessels ablaze after collision off PD
Marine police and the marine department received an SOS call from the bulk carrier after it caught fire in the collision which occurred at about 9.30pm last

Passengers evacuated after Stockholm ferry fire
The Swedish Wire
“Everyone apart for a few members of the crew has been evacuated… we had a fire on board but after 10 minutes the people on the ship and the fire brigade

Sinking Tug Boat Leaks Oil Near Treasure Island
The boat’s the sister ship is tugboat moored next to it. The Coast Guard says it was carrying up to 700 gallons of diesel and lubricants. Continue reading »

Arctic Sea Update – Eight Detained

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Aug 182009

image Eight people have reportedly been arrested for the hijacking of the Arctic Sea. It is alleged that the group of four Estonians, two Latvians and two Russians, approached Arctic Sea in a dinghy requesting help to repair a vessel then took over the ship at gunpoint on 24 July.

Arctic Sea’s crew of 15 are safe and are being debriefed by Russian naval personnel. The vessel, missing for two weeks after disappearing in the English Channel was found by the Russian Navy off Cape Verde Islands two days after denials were issued that she had been seen there.

Stil unexplained is why a Russian naval vessel transmitted an AIS signal from the Bay of Biscay on Saturday.

According to Malta’s Maritime Authority, Arctic Sea is flagged in Malta, Finnish, Swedish and Maltese authorities are conducting investigations in close cooperation into the alleged offences relating to the cargo vessel Arctic Sea.

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Aug 172009

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22 Chinese seamen on Panama freighter missing for 9 days in
The company reported the shipwreck to the Qingdao City Administration, which immediately responded to the accident.

ABC Local Catamaran loses mast in cargo ship collision
Catamaran loses mast in cargo ship collision. Posted August 18 2009 093600. Map Port Botany 2036. The crew of a stricken catamaran had to be helped into

Freighter runs aground near Del. Memorial Bridge
The News Journal
where the ship can drop anchor, he said. The ship will have its steering system examined to see if it was damaged in the grounding, Lindberg said.

Governor of Svalbard wants ban on heavy fuel oil
Barents Observer
In a short period of time Norway has experienced two serious ship accidents in its waters. In May the Russian freezer ship “Petrozavodsk” ran aground by the

Inquiry launched into Corrib vessel accident
DUBLIN: The Department of Transport and Shell EP Ireland have initiated separate investigations into the grounding of a Corrib gas project support vessel

Tongan ferry formally identified
The vessel sitting on the Tongan seabed has been formally identified as the ferry Princess Ashika, which sank on August 6 with at least 149 people aboard.


Pirated‘ cargo ship found near Cape Verde islands
Maritime officials feared the vessel had fallen victim to the first case of piracy in European waters in living memory. But there were also claims that it

Piracy drop in the Straits
Malaysia Star
MALACCA: Heightened maritime security along the Straits of Malacca has seen a drop in piracy over the last two years. Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

Conference to tackle piracy threats
United Press International
“With maritime piracy costing the world an estimated $60-70 million in 2008 and a worrying rise in sea crimes across the Middle East and North Africa region

NATO launches new anti-piracy operation off Somalia
ability to combat piracy,” a statement said. The operation “will contribute to a lasting maritime security solution off the Horn of Africa,” NATO said.

Malaysia, Indonesia, The Phillipines To Enhance Maritime Cooperation
of cooperation in the maritime zone and the air space in the region with a more systematic and organised surveillance to curb smuggling and piracy.

Off The Radar

Syracuse University researcher to present ‘Shipwrecks as Fossils
EurekAlert (press release)
The database includes ship names; type and size of the vessels; dates of sinking; information about the cargoes, passengers, ship departure points and

Arctic Sea Update – Criminal Investigation Underway

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Aug 172009

image Malta’s Maritime Authority has issued an update on the Arctic Sea, which is flagged in Malta, regarding an international criminal investigation:

The Finnish, Swedish and Maltese authorities are conducting investigations in close cooperation into the alleged offences relating to the cargo vessel Arctic Sea.

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Maritime Safety & Security News – 16 August 2009

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Aug 162009

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French fisherman injured by wire
BBC News
A Maritime and Coastguard spokesman said weather conditions were very poor, so an alternative landing site at Boscowan Field may have to be used.

4 Suffer Burn Injuries After Small Explosion Aboard Fishing Vessel
Pacific News Center
Memorial Hospital after suffering burns when residual fuel aboard the vessel reportedly exploded or flamed out. The accident occurred about 6:15 pm.

115 migrants rescued from sinking dinghy
As the migrants dinghy was already taking in water, and 5 of their party were already in the water, the Protector-class vessel P-51 was also dispatched to

Monarch fuel removal operations successfully completed in Cook Inlet
At the time of the sinking, an estimated 34603 gallons of diesel fuel and lube oil were on board the vessel. A light sheen was seen in the area on the day


Rising wave of piracy sends shipowners’ costs soaring
Separate figures from the International Maritime Bureau showed a doubling of piracy attacks in the first six months of this year, with virtually all the

Egyptians escape Somali pirates
The case highlights how illegal fishing off Somalia’s coast is one of the “core issues creating the continuation of piracy“, our correspondent said.

AP Top News at 5:01 pm EDT – August 15
KMPH Fox 26
MOSCOW (AP) – The workaday cargo ship the Arctic Sea, which for decades plowed the world’s waterways in obscurity, just had to disappear to be thrust into a

Under The Radar

Dredging damages old fort’s remains
Albany Times Union
Adam Kane, an expert in nautical archaeology from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, is reviewing the damage using underwater video, King said.

Arctic Sea Gets Murkier

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Aug 152009

Reports regarding the Arctic Sea are positively Newtonian: for each report there is an equal and opposite report. She was reported in Spain, then Spanish authorities denied the claim. She was reported off the Cape Verde Islands then Russian diplomats and Portuguese authorities said she wasn’t. An AIS signal in the Bay of Biscay signalled her presence, or maybe not because there was no evidence the transmission came from equipment on the ship,the Russian naval officials said it was from a Russian Navy vessel, which raises more questions than it answers.

Now it is reported that ransom demands have been made to the shipowner but, again, there has been no ‘proof of life’ –  a necessary element for a credible ransom demand and until that is given the ransom demands are meaningless.

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Arctic Sea: Hijack, Mutiny or Mafia?

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Aug 102009

Russian navy ships, the Federal Security Service and Interpol are looking for Arctic Sea, a 4,000 tonnes general cargo ship, managed by Oy Solchart, which vanished after apparently entering the English channel from the North Sea on 29 July. No contact has been made with her and there is speculation that the vessel carrying almost $2m worth of timber from Finland has been hijacked or taken by its Russian crew of 15. Continue reading »