A navy spokesperson formally dismissed claims that frigate Ladny had located the vessel in the Atlantic, saying: “This information is based on the personal views of a private individual and is untrue.”
Meanwhile, a statement on the website of the Russian ministry of defence stressed that the country is using “all means of detection”, including satellites and navy ships, to find the ship.
Earlier in the day, state-owned news agency RIA Novosti had claimed that the ship had turned up at the small port of San Sebastian in Spain. But this was rapidly denied by the Autoridad Portuaria de Pasajes, which is responsible for the port.
APP communications manager Gorka Reizabal told Lloyd’s List: “This report is absolutely false. San Sebastian is a small port for fishing activities, and Arctic Sea is not able to go into San Sebastian, because the port is too small. We have been looking at our security cameras, and there is no ship here with those characteristics.”
Representatives of San Sebastián de la Gomera, a port with a similar name in the Canary Islands, also said that the ship was not in their port.
One theory that appeared to be gaining support, in the continued absence of a ransom demand, was that the ship had been hijacked. RIA Novosti quoted Viktor Matveyev, director of the Finnish agency company Solchart Management, as saying that he believed this to be the case.
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