10 Aug 2009

Russian crew ship 'disappears'

3:48 pm on 10 August 2009

A cargo ship with a Russian crew has reportedly disappeared off the coast of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Russian maritime journal Sovfracht says contact with the Maltese-flagged Arctic Sea vessel, with a crew of 13, was lost on 28 July. Russia's navy and security services are trying to locate the ship.

The same vessel was boarded by armed men in the Baltic Sea on 24 July. Sovfracht says the attackers later left without taking any money or valuables.

It adds that the vessel - which was reportedly carrying timber - was due to arrive at an Algerian port on 4 August.

Sovfracht says Arctic Sea was built in 1991 and is operated by a firm based in Russia's northern city of Arkhangelsk.