Missing Ship

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Postby Sweejak » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:43 pm

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.


http://lloydslist.com/ll/news/russian-n ... 45bf6ba69a
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Postby Sweejak » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:57 am

Damn, I don't know who owns the ship.

Figuring out the ownership and management arrangements of the Arctic Sea is no simple matter, as they involve several different countries.
At first it was referred to as a Finnish ship, but that proved not to be the case. Then it was said that it was under Latvian ownership, but that also would seem to be erroneous, although until last year, the Latvian company Aquaship was responsible for the ship’s deliveries.
The vessel is registered in Malta, under the name of a Russian-owned company called Arctic Sea. Its website is in Russian, but its telephone number is answered by a person by the name of Paul Borello in Malta. He says that he is not at liberty to speak about matters related to the company. He promises to send an e-mail to the company’s management, but no word comes from there, naturally.

The ship’s security is handled by a Russian company Solchart Arkhangelsk, which has an address in Arkhangelsk. The company’s director Nikolai Karpenkov answers the telephone.
“Why don’t you ask these things in Finland?”
A representative of the ship in Finland advised us to turn to your company, because you are responsible for the ship’s security.
“That’s not exactly the way it is.”
That is all that Karpenkov will say.

... Cargo handling in Finland is handled by Solchart Management, which has offices in the most expensive possible place in Finland - the district of Eira in Helsinki. The office is almost bare - a table, three chairs, a computer, and a safe, on which a large ship’s rudder is leaning. On the wall there are two paintings with maritime subjects and a sea map. Solchart Management was registered under that name in June. CEO Victor Matvejev answers the telephone.
“I am not in a position to say anything.” Beep, beep, beep....
Also listed as a person in charge of Solchart Management is Aleksei Starodubov, who says that he does not know where the ship or Matvejev might be. Soon Matvejev stops answering his phone.

“This appears to be a most extraordinary chain. No reliable information is available”, says Tuomas Routa, head of maritime security at the Finnish Maritime Administration.


http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/tiki-rea ... eId=203333
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Postby Penguin » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:10 am

Cargo handling in Finland is handled by Solchart Management, which has offices in the most expensive possible place in Finland - the district of Eira in Helsinki. The office is almost bare - a table, three chairs, a computer, and a safe, on which a large ship’s rudder is leaning. On the wall there are two paintings with maritime subjects and a sea map. Solchart Management was registered under that name in June. CEO Victor Matvejev answers the telephone.
“I am not in a position to say anything.” Beep, beep, beep....
Also listed as a person in charge of Solchart Management is Aleksei Starodubov, who says that he does not know where the ship or Matvejev might be. Soon Matvejev stops answering his phone.

“This appears to be a most extraordinary chain. No reliable information is available”, says Tuomas Routa, head of maritime security at the Finnish Maritime Administration.


Heh.

How about this - (they refer to it as a finnish ship too still)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... ttack.html

The missing cargo ship Arctic Sea that is being hunted by Russian warships reported a second attack by 'pirates' near Portugal, according to official sources.

European Commission maritime officials told The Daily Telegraph that following its first attack in Swedish waters, a second set of radio messages was received from the Maltese-flagged merchant ship after the vessel had passed through the English Channel at the end of last month.

"Radio calls were apparently received from the ship which had supposedly been under attack twice, the first time off the Swedish coast and then off the Portuguese coast," said a Commission transport official.

"The Commission has no further comment to add at this stage, in order not to hinder the ongoing law enforcement activities."

Brussels officials have remained "fully aware of what seems to be the disappearance of a ship flying the flag of a member State of the European Union" but are sceptical of reports of piracy, while refusing to give further details.

"From information currently available it would seem that these acts, such as they have been reported, have nothing in common with 'traditional' acts of piracy or armed robbery at sea," said the official.

Until the latest statement, the last contact with the Arctic Sea was thought to have been via a routine radio check by British coastguards on the vessel as it entered the English Channel on Jul 28.

The communication with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which appeared to be normal, came four days after the Arctic Sea's Russian crew members had reported a violent armed attack on their vessel in Swedish waters to managers based in Finland, from where the ship set sail.

For unknown reasons, and according to Maltese maritime officials, the reported attack was not communicated to the police in Helsinki until July 28, too late for British coastguards to be alerted to the existence of a possibly hijacked vessel in the English Channel.

The second message was received after the Arctic Sea was last tracked in the Bay of Biscay on July 30 now placing the last contact at the beginning of August and as the ship changed course from its Algeria destination to a new western Atlantic bearing.

Solchart, the operator of the merchant vessel, has blamed piracy for the ship's disappearance.

"My view is that it is most likely that the vessel has been hijacked," said Viktor Matveyev, director of the Finnish company.

Russian space satellites, warships and nuclear submarines have been scrambled in a full scale pirate hunt for the ship amid fears that vessel could be carrying a dangerous "secret cargo".

Before collecting a cargo of sawn timber from the Finnish port of Pietarsaari on July 23, the Arctic Sea had been repaired over a two week period at the Pregol shipyard in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave notorious for smuggling and lawlessness.

Mikhail Voitenko, the editor of Russia's Sovfracht maritime bulletin, has suggested that the ship might have been hijacked because it was carrying a "secret shipment" unknown to its crew or owners.

"The only sensible answer is that the vessel was loaded with a secret cargo apart from timber," he said.

"I am sure it was not drugs or some other illegal or just criminal cargo. I think that something much more expensive or dangerous. It looks like some third party did not want this trans-shipment to be fulfilled so they made this highly sophisticated and complicated operation."

According to Russia's Itar-Tass news agency, Interpol has reported the Arctic Sea as a hijacked vessel to the world's police forces, making the incident the first case of piracy in European waters in modern times.


Nothing new, just hand wringing and speculation...
But twice? Yeah...Sounds lot more plausible that the hijackers, if there were any, probably didn't even leave.
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Postby compared2what? » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:14 am

OFF-TOPIC: Sweejak, every time I see the title of this thread in the topic index, my mind reflexively begins singing "on the water, ver-ee free/and easy," and usually doesn't totally quiet down for good for two or three hours.

I just want you to know that I will never forgive you.
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Postby Penguin » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:36 am

Heres some tidbits, Ill include the original finnish link and translate the gist of the story.
http://www.hs.fi/ulkomaat/artikkeli/Arc ... 5248478813

Article states:

"Nothing suspicious was seen when the ship was in Pietarsaari harbor in Finland to pick up the lumber shipment, said the harbor operator, Botnia Shipping, on friday.

There have been suspicions of a secret cargo on the ship as it arrived in Finland. Botnia Shipping from Pietarsaari harbor says that the cargo area of the ship was empty, and the crews passports in order when the ship was in Pietarsaari on the 20th of July. There the ship was loaded with the timber." (my note - they proobably would not hide a very secret weapons / drugs / whatever shipment in the main cargo hold, but somewhere more sneaky, in any case...)

Then there is some stuff that was mentioned above already, of possible second hijacking / hijackers still on board near Portugal, and mention of the "suspicious report, possibly made by radio phone handset to the British authorities.

Here it is said that the ship is owned by a Maltan firm, Arctic Sea, which is owned by a finnish company White Sea. The crew was supplied by Solchart Arkhangelsk from Russia. This seems to be the correct ownership info, as reported today.

The ships last known position was after the English Channel on 29. July, when it reported its position thru the ship's AIS-radio transmitter.
Here is the position on a finnish radio amateurs site -
http://aprs.fi/?call=215860000&dt=12488 ... range=3600

The rumours of the ship having been found on thursday have turned out to be baseless. The ship is now being looked for by the russian and Maltan authorities, finnish authorities said they are only providing help in the investigation, even thou the ship now seems to be owned by a finnish-based company.

http://www.hs.fi/ulkomaat/artikkeli/Arc ... 5248490355

In this story, Tuomas Routa, of maritime security, Finland, states that one weird aspect is that the ships radio equipment has seemingly malfunctioned at times, and the captain should have brought the ship in to a harbor as soon as there is trouble. (weighing towards either complicity, or hijackers never left)

AIS system is said to be also utilized by pirates in locating ships to hijack, as it broadcasts the ships location by radio, making pinpointing easy. The system is said to be easy to disable, too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_ ... ion_System
http://aprs.fi/page/ais_sites

Someone commented that the russians seem to be very interested, with reportedly a couple of subs and a couple of normal vessels looking for the ship.. I guess they have some suspicions to go on.
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Re: Lacrosse 3

Postby beeline » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:14 am

psynapz wrote:You would be delighted to know that the same site from which marmot pulled that spy sat story offers a very nifty Satellite Fly-Bys database. I used it via a smartphone at a remote bonfire party recently to predict an ISS flyover and it was marvelous. Especially looking around and seeing a whole party stop dead to stare at the sky and chorus in wows because I screamed at them to. Felt good.


Cool, thanks psynapz. Same experience here, I was working at a resort in upsate NY, and basically I gathered everyone at the resort, about 35 people, on to the front steps of the main cabin, we had quite a show that night as it was Persiod meteor night too.
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Postby MinM » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:35 am

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Postby Penguin » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:42 am

Thanks, MinM, I had forgotten Glomar...Read about it at some time.
(They should have found it, imho, with the russian or european satellites already... Or did they park it somewhere in a cave? :D )
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Postby marmot » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:35 am


So what possibly could this 'secret cargo' be?

Being aware of how sophisticated and all-pervasive satellite surveillance is - I am certain that those Navies and national intelligence outfits whose job it is to track vessels and whatnot, they know precisely where this ship is. It's location for some reason is being kept a secret by those whose job it is to keep secrets.
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Postby Sweejak » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:18 pm

compared2what? wrote:OFF-TOPIC: Sweejak, every time I see the title of this thread in the topic index, my mind reflexively begins singing "on the water, ver-ee free/and easy," and usually doesn't totally quiet down for good for two or three hours.

I just want you to know that I will never forgive you.


My apologies. Once while hiking in the Rockies, John Denver's Rock Mountain High got stuck in my head. It was awful, truly, seriously awful, and earworms could actually cause a suicide.

What shall I change the title too?


Oh, and it is some comfort that it seems possible to disappear even in the highly regulated and surveilled EU zone
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Postby Penguin » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:20 pm

Yes, that's what I think too.
Perhaps we will never know... Or perhaps russian Spetznatz along with a secret EU tactical response team are right now killing the whole crew, hijackers and all, and sinking the ship off the African coast somewhere...
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Postby Sweejak » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:25 pm

RT's report today mentions that it's been found... again. FWIW
http://www.russiatoday.ru/Top_News/2009 ... earch.html
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Postby Penguin » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:32 pm

From Sweejak's link:

ITAR-TASS is also quoting a representative of Cape Verde’s defense ministry as saying the authorities of the island state are co-operating with all the interested parties.

I will neither confirm nor deny the reports about the ship’s presence off our coast. The information will be provided to the international media when the situation calls for it,” the representative stated.


Ha-hmmhh!
So they pretty definitely do have some kind of an operation underway...

"I have a report from the Russian Navy that the frigate is going to enter Cape Verde territorial waters," said Alexander Karpushin. "The warship has its own search plan."

Meanwhile, according to France-Press agency, the French have informed Russia about several other possible locations of the missing ship.

"Since yesterday we have spotted a number of vessels in the Atlantic Ocean which could turn out to be the Arctic sea," Captain Jerome Baroe told the agency. He also noted that the information has to be checked as “the ships resemble each other and can be easily repainted”.


And is there a whole flotilla of ships with their AIS turned off or not corresponding to shipping logs?
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Postby Sweejak » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:33 pm

In lieu of hard news, there is this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SN NewsCaster
...
I piloted this ship into Plymouth a couple of years ago, it stuck in my mind because the Captain's name on the passage plan was Medvedev and when I commented on it to the Mate he told me it was the President's brother. Probably the Russian sense of humour but I took it at face value!!

There's food for a good conspiracy, eh.


http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthrea ... 305&page=2

============== and

Medvedev's Secret Little Brother?
http://www.rferl.org/content/Medvedevs_ ... 31038.html
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Postby marmot » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:45 pm

Sweejak wrote:RT's report today mentions that it's been found... again. FWIW
http://www.russiatoday.ru/Top_News/2009 ... earch.html


The reporter for Russia Today communicated a lot of interesting things. I suspect there's a lot of deliberate disinfo being circulated by these varies interested parties. An example of poss. disinfo: Pirates demanding 1.5 mil. in ransom.

Reporter also mentioned how there might have been two attacks - two boardings. One of which was done by what is thought to possibly be U.S. Special Forces, for they were English speakers - but with an accent though. They had a lot of sophisticated equipment. There was a suggestion, too, of "special weapons cargo".

www.russiatoday.ru wrote:[url=http://www.russiatoday.ru/Top_News/2009-08-14/arctic-sea-ship-search.html]Lost ship found?
[/url]
New information is emerging about the mysterious disappearance of the Russian-crewed cargo ship 'Arctic Sea'. The Financial Times Deutschland newspaper says the vessel has been sighted near the Cape Verde Islands.

The German paper cites two independent sources but does not identify them.

The report is being echoed by the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency, with the information allegedly coming from NATO.

However, the information regarding the ship’s possible location off the West-African coast has not yet been officially confirmed.

The ship's owner is also claiming he's unaware of its whereabouts.

ITAR-TASS is also quoting a representative of Cape Verde’s defense ministry as saying the authorities of the island state are co-operating with all the interested parties.

“I will neither confirm nor deny the reports about the ship’s presence off our coast. The information will be provided to the international media when the situation calls for it,” the representative stated.

According to Russia’s ambassador to Cape Verde, Aleksandr Karpushin, a Russian frigate is now heading to the area.

The diplomat was quoted by the Russian news service.

"I have a report from the Russian Navy that the frigate is going to enter Cape Verde territorial waters," said Alexander Karpushin. "The warship has its own search plan."

Meanwhile, according to France-Press agency, the French have informed Russia about several other possible locations of the missing ship.

"Since yesterday we have spotted a number of vessels in the Atlantic Ocean which could turn out to be the Arctic sea," Captain Jerome Baroe told the agency. He also noted that the information has to be checked as “the ships resemble each other and can be easily repainted”.

As the search operation continues, speculation as to what or who might be responsible for the disappearance of the cargo ship are also multiplying.

According to the Financial Times Deutschland, the ship was seized by sea pirates.

The paper says the hijackers asked for $1.5 million ransom.

Earlier it was reported that Interpol also thinks pirates are behind the loss of the vessel, however the Russian Central Interpol Bureau could not confirm the information.


Some media have speculated the ship could have been targeted because it was carrying an "unknown cargo" in addition to timber – claims which have been denied by the operator of the Arctic sea.
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