Friday, 17 March 2006

Stowaway at Stornoway

<![CDATA[ Alexandr Newski to the left, navy vessel to the right, off Arnish Light
Another boaty week out here. Today's excitement centres on the large bulk carrier Alexandr Newski, a Russian registered bulk-carrier. She contacted Clyde Coastguard last night to report a stowaway. The Newski was on her way from Newport to Murmansk when the stowaway was discovered off the Mull of Kintyre. On contacting the coastguard, the captain was put in touch with police, who recommended that the stowaway be put ashore at Stornoway.

Our harbour cannot easily accommodate vessels that size, so it was agreed that the bulk carrier wait outside port where she would be met by police. A navy vessel (whose name I could not discern against this afternoon's bright sky) went out just after 2pm. An hour later, after much toing and froing off Arnish Point, she came back in, presumably with the stowaway in the brig.

Quite a serious situation, having a stowaway on board. You cannot know what their intentions are, and the captain was quite right to contact police for advice.

As I'm typing this (3.30 pm), the Russian ship is slowly getting underway again, heading for Murmansk. This city is situated at the top of Scandinavia, a few hundred miles to the east of the North Cape, on the Kola Peninsula.


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