Cargo Ship's Disappearance Confounds European Authorities, Spawns Theories - washingtonpost.com
PARIS, Aug. 13 -- The Arctic Sea, a 4,700-ton cargo ship registered in Malta, owned by Russians and crewed by 15 Siberian sailors, dropped off the map shortly after it cleared the English Channel and nosed into the broad Atlantic.
That was two weeks ago.
Europe's governments, maritime authorities and navies have since been wondering how a ship equipped with modern navigation devices, a tracking beacon and radio communications could have disappeared so suddenly and remained out of touch so long in one of the world's busiest and most monitored shipping lanes.
Hijacked? That may be the case, but why and by whom? Lying at the bottom? Perhaps, but there was no distress signal. Or maybe, it was suggested Thursday, there was a dispute over a stash of contraband -- such as drugs -- or even a plan by the captain and crew members to sell the declared cargo of Finnish timber in Africa and make off with the cash.