Ship Sailing under Panama Flag with 17 Georgian Sailors Goes Missing

A ship which was sailing under Panama flag with 17 Georgian sailors has been missing since August 14.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIA) the last contact with the vessel Pantelena IMO 9321469, carrying oil, was in the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa.

The MIA says Greek company Lotus Shipping is carrying out the search.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Sea Transport Agency of the Ministry of Economics and Sustainable Development, is in coordination with the ship owner company to clarify the situation. We are actively working with Panama Flag Organization, too. The maritime forces of the region, as well as the United Kingdom Maritime Center - UKMTO are involved in the case,” the ministry stated.

Vladimir Konstantinidi, Deputy Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated there is a high probability that the ship was captured by pirates.

“We cannot confirm or rule out anything. Maybe we are dealing with piracy, because the west African coast is a risk area. Of course, we are looking into this,” he said.

By Thea Morrison

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20 August 2018 11:11