Crimean tanker GOEAST resurfaces – not surprisingly – Maritime Bulletin
Not surprisingly, Crimean tanker GOEAST didn’t sink after being shelled by Libyan Coast Guard, and arrived on Malta outer anchorage, her AIS reappearing on Oct 11. According to Libya Herald, “Libyan navy spokesman Ayoun Gassem said that the tanker, owned by a Crimea based company but Comoros-flagged, had been fired upon after it refused demands from a coastguard boat to stop and be searched. He claimed that it had been involved in fuel smuggling. The Russians are presenting a somewhat different reason for the incident. Rather than being involved in smuggling, they say that there had been “financial issues” between the Swiss company that had chartered the tanker and unnamed Libyans”.
Something like this was to be expected, the only thing which wasn’t expected was the sinking, because it’s a tanker, not bulk carrier or hopper or any other type of ship. Tankers are extremely resilient ships, thanks to many isolated cargo compartments – i.e. cargo tanks. Explosions and major fire could sink tanker, but not several holes in the hull.
As with quite a number of cases of cargo ships seizures in Libyan waters, this story most probably, will remain unclear, especially considering the character of business Crimea-based companies are involved in, after the peninsula was annexed by Russia – it’s a gray-black zone of dubious business activities, including various types of contraband, from arms to cigarettes.
My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I’ve been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I’ve been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.