Crew kept hostages on a floating bomb – m/v Rhosus, Beirut
General cargo vessel Rhosus called Beirut, Lebanon, in October last year. Vessel loaded with ammonium nitrate was destined for another country, the reason she called Beirut is unclear, maybe for supplies or due to some mechanical trouble. Rhosus was detained after PSC inspection, which found a number of deficiencies. Since then vessel is stranded in Beirut. By now only four crew stay on board – Master (Russian nationality), Chief and Third Engineers and Bosun, all of them Ukrainians. Vessel was owned and operated by Mr. Grechushkin Igor, Russian citizen now Cyprus resident (last known manager Teto Shipping, Cyprus). Rhosus actually, is abandoned – owner doesn’t communicate, doesn’t pay salaries, doesn’t provide supplies. Owner of the cargo declared abandonment, too. Beirut authorities don’t permit the remaining crew to leave the vessel and fly to home. The reason is obvious, port authorities don’t want to be left with abandoned vessel on their hands, loaded with dangerous cargo, explosives, in fact. Why don’t they want to arrest vessel with cargo, to release the crew and replace it with temporary local crew, is unclear.
Russian and Ukrainian authorities do nothing, while as it seems, their involvement is a must, in order to achieve some kind of agreement with Beirut authorities, and work out a joint plan either to replace the crew with locals unconditionally, or finance the crew and vessel until she’s auctioneed.