Friday, August 21, 2009

Arctic Sea mystery continues

This is like something out of a spy novel, from the cold war era.

As mentioned earlier, there is suspicion by some that the Arctic Sea was carrying some illicit cargo - perhaps something nuclear in nature.

After the Russian Navy found the Arctic Sea, and arrested the hijackers and I guess, some of the crew, they are taking the ship to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

The manager of the ship doesn't know what is going on, and has issued an appeal to the Russians to explain.

From Tradewinds

The Russian director of the Helsinki-based company made an impassioned appeal “to all officials powers” on Friday to come clean on the current situation regarding the 4,700-dwt ship and its 15 Russian crew members.

Here is Matveev’s statement in full:

“Appeal of Director of Solchart Victor Matveev to all official powers

Announcement of Director of Solchart Victor Matveev Helsinki, 21st of August.

It has become known on Monday that vessel Arctic Sea has been successfully rescued by the Russian Navy forces.

Despite this fact the company Solchart, under which commercial management the vessel operates, still does not receive any official information about the present situation with the crew and the vessel.

In the course of the last couple of days we have repeatedly requested various instances about condition of the crew and the vessel, trying to find out who is controlling the vessel and why it is heading to Novorossiysk. However we have not received any answers.

Considerable loss, caused by hijackers to us and the owners of the cargo, unstoppably expands every day with the absence of accurate information.

I, as the director of Solchart, would like to highlight my respect and express my gratitude to the crew of Arctic Sea, above all for their top professional qualities, tenacity and selflessness.

Solchart has always complied with the international rules and conventions. Crewing has been performed in full accordance with “Manning Certificate”. I will especially highlight professional qualities of the crew: all specialists on board possess necessary experience to work in a specific rank, and have long worked in order to attain certain position. Our seafarers receive considerable salaries, which comply with the requirements of international trade unions.

Thus, we appeal to all officials with the request to manifest humanity and provide to Solchart any kind of reliable information about the crew and the vessel.”

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