The Russian navy has said a flotilla of its warships has arrived in the eastern Atlantic, and has begun a systematic search for the missing freighter Arctic Sea. The cargo-ship, with 15 Russian crew-members on board, was en route from Finland to Algeria when all contact was lost. Four vessels from Russia’s Black Sea fleet, along with several other ships, are now on station trying to track down the 4,000 tonner.
The Arctic Sea made radio contact with Dover coastguard on the south-east coast of Britain on 28th July. Shortly afterwards French authorities in Brittany confirmed her progress. But then the automatic identification beacon stopped transmitting, and she vanished. Lieutenant de Vaisseau, Olivier Colas fo teh French Maritime security service in Brest said: “The boat identified itself in the normal manner. It signalled just like all boats should. There was absolutely no reason to sound an emergency.” The Arctic Star’s operating company in Finland believes it is most likely that the vessel was hi-jacked. According to Russian media, the security service the FSB have paid a visit to the ship’s owners.