Thar She Blows?

Missing ship ‘found’ off Africa

A missing merchant ship with 15 Russian crew members on board has been spotted off the coast of West Africa, unconfirmed reports say.

The Arctic Sea had last been sighted in the Bay of Biscay on 30 July.

Reports citing coastguards suggested it had been seen some 400 nautical miles north of the Cape Verde islands.

However amid continuing uncertainty, the Russian envoy in Cape Verde said he had contacted the military there and the sighting had not been confirmed.

Russian navy ships have been searching for the 4,000-tonne Maltese-flagged vessel, which had been carrying timber.

Observers have suggested the ship was hijacked, possibly because of a Russian commercial dispute.

Following the reported sighting, a spokesman for the French defence ministry told the BBC that the Arctic Sea was thought to be in international waters.

The spokesman said his information came from the Cape Verde coastguard, who said the ship was outside its jurisdiction.

However, the spokesman said there was a “high possibility” that the ship had been located. French intelligence officials also believe they have found the ship in the same area, he said.

The Russian ambassador to Cape Verde, Alexander Karpushin, told Associated Press news agency that a Russian frigate was heading to the area but had no information on the Arctic Sea’s location.

Russia’s RIA news agency later quoted Mr Karpushin as saying that confirmation that the Arctic Sea had been spotted “400 nautical miles north of the island of Santo Antao… did not prove to be true”.

Five Russian warships and other vessels have been searching the Atlantic for the vessel.

arctic sea

Just a wee bit off course.

See also:
Cargo ship near Cape Verde, official says
Missing ship Arctic Sea spotted in mid-Atlantic
France: missing cargo ship found near Cape Verde
Missing Ship Arctic Sea’s Owner Unaware of Sighting (Update3)
Missing ‘ghost ship’ Arctic Sea spotted off Cape Verde… but Russia says it’s a false alarm
Where Oh Where Has The Arctic Sea Gone, Where Oh Where Can It Be?

Of course, even if this is a legitimate sighting of the Arctic Sea, it still doesn’t explain why she’s sailing off the coasr of Africa, where she’s heading, or who’s in control of her.

/and so, the mystery continues . . .