When the 'Laodicea' docked in Lebanon last summer, Ukrainian diplomats said it was carrying grain stolen by Russia and called on Lebanese authorities to seize it. Moscow called the claim "false and baseless," and Lebanon's attorney general agreed. He decided that the 10,000 tons of barley and corn the ship was carrying had not been stolen and allowed the discharge. An investigation, however, has found that the Syrian-owned vessel is part of a sophisticated Russian-led smuggling operation using falsified shipping lists and deception in order to steal at least $530 million worth of Ukrainian grain, which helped finance Vladimir Putin's war machine. Satellite imagery and maritime transponders were able to track three dozen ships that made more than 50 trips transporting grain from Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine to ports in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere. These thefts, which legal experts say could amount to war crimes, are being carried out with the help of wealthy businessmen and state-owned firms from Russia and Syria. The Russian military, meanwhile, has attacked farms, grain storage silos and ships still under Ukrainian control, driving up food prices. Report with photo: https://apnews.com/article/noticias-5d173625336b7447b18d56a8bb6f6ca8
The Central Port Authority of Chania was informed in the afternoon of Oct 2, 2022, by the maritime agent of the 'Silver Spirit' that a 79-year-old passenger of the ship, which had sailed from the port of Souda, needed immediate hospital treatment. The ship returned to the port of Souda and disembarked the patient, who was picked up by an ambulance and transported to a private clinic for medical treatment. The cruise ship continued its route, bound for the port of Nafplio.
The 'Abeille Flandre' returned to Brest on Sep 30, before being demolished next spring at the Navaleo shipyard, like her sister ship, the 'Abeille Languedoc'. The ship, coming from Toulon for its final voyage, had to call at La Coruña due to bad weather. The ship was escorted by the 'Abeille Bourbon', then greeted with the fire hoses and long siren blasts of his successor in the port. The 'Abeille Flandre' then took up the berth of the 'Abeille Bourbon', the Quai Malbert, in the commercial port. On the bridge were seen Jean Bulot, former captain from 1979 to 1994, Jean-Paul Hellequin, former cook of the ship and president of the Mor Glaz association for the protection of the sea and sailors, or Fortuné Pellicano, deputy mayor of Brest. Open ship could only start on Oct 2, and 1500 people visited the tug within a few hours. Report with photos: https://www.meretmarine.com/fr/marine-merchante/l-abeille-flandre-est-arrivee-a-brest-ou-elle-sera-deconstruite-debut-2023
The 'Diamond 8', implicated in several investigations into North Korean sanctions evasions has continued to fraudulently assume the identities of other vessels in a bid to dupe investigators. This time the vesssel tried to pass itself as a ship that had been in a Southeast Asian scrapyard for a year. Investigators spotted the 'Diamond 8' near the Fujian Province in June 2022, using a radio identifier linked to the Mongolia-flagged 'Shun Li' (IMO: 8514435), which arrived at the Alang Ship Breaking Yard in India in June 2021, where it has since been dismantled. Satellite imagery also showed the 'Diamond 8' just a kilometer or two from several other known ships suspected to have violated sanctions against North Korea, including the 'New Konk' (IMO: 9036387), 'Unica' (IMO: 8514306) and the 'Hai Jun' (IMO: 8514306). It wasn’t the first time the 'Diamond 8' has done just that: In May 2021, the ship broadcast over a radio identifier associated with the Mongolia-flagged C'hang Shun 8' (IMO: 8682969), also in Chinese waters. The 'Diamond 8' has not been spotted via ground-based stations since June 2021, indicating it has likely been engaged in “dark voyages” since then. And while the 'Shun Li' appears to have had no other connections to potential sanctions evasion activities during its lifetime, the upcoming U.N. report indicates that its MMSI number is linked to Kaohsiung-based firm You Young Ship Management and Consultant Co. Ltd., the same firm that was also behind two other recently scrapped oil tankers that helped smuggle oil into North Korea.
The US Coast Guard medevaced a 73-year-old woman from the 'Westerdam' near Port Angeles on Oct 3, 2022. Watchstanders at the 13th Coast Guard District Command Center in Seattle received a medical evacuation request from the cruise ship of a passenger with symptoms of a mild cardiac infarction approximately 46 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Due to low visibility, watchstanders directed the 'Westerdam' to continue towards Port Angeles to conduct the hoist. At 8:50 a.m., a Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew arrived on scene. The patient was transferred to emergency medical services at approximately 10 a.m.