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Mystery of bulk carrier Focomar is becoming more mysterious

Aug. 9, 2015 at 07:13 by Mikhail Voytenko in Accidents

Focomar accident is becoming more and more mysterious. According to available AIS data, vessel is very much alive and during Aug 8 moved in northeast direction, last known position 13 13N 053 25E, speed some 1.5 knots. It’s an apparent leeway. Meanwhile, I’ve got a letter from Russian arabist, informing me, that the crew, presumably 24 seamen, landed on Samhah island – small island southwest of western Socotra. There is only one dwelling site on the island, a small village with some 150 inhabitants. There is no sea communication with the island due to monsoon. There is no air connection, either, thanks to Yemen unrest and chaos. One can’t but wonder:
What happened to the vessel and why crew abandoned vessel, was it because of danger of sinking or because they’ve been forced to abandon it?
What was vessel doing in this area starting from Aug 1, wandering among small islands to the west of Socotra?
Why regional media and Yemeni authorities believe bulk carrier is Russian?
Why vessel was hiding its’ port of destination?
Was the whole story caused by maybe, some peculiar cargo on board, and what cargo may it be, considering situation in Yemen and in Middle East in general?

First news:
Mysterious bulk carrier Focomar sinking near Socotra
Yemeni officials made a statement on Aug 8 reporting sinking of bulk carrier Focomar near Sokotra island, Gulf of Aden. All available information by now, 1500 UTC Aug 8 is contradictory and cofusing – regional media say vessel is Russian, but according to all available data, she’s Greek. She doesn’t look to be sunk, either. Some other reports say salvage tug is under way from Dubai, to reach Focomar on Aug 9 for towage. Vessel is said to issue distress signal on Aug 7.
I’ve been alerted about Focomar on Aug 5, and informed about her erratic movements and apparent restricted maneuverability. For two days I was trying to find out what’s going on, but gave up due to the lack of info. crew is a mix of Filipino, Russian and Ukrainian nationalities. Why Yemeni officials and media believe that the vessel is Russian, I have no idea.

Voytenko Mikhail

Mystery of bulk carrier Focomar is becoming more mysterious

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