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Ship With Russian Crew Of 13 Disappears

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- A cargo ship with a Russian crew has been missing for 12 days and its last known location was off the coast of Portugal, the Russian maritime journal "Sovfracht" has reported on its website.

The Maltese-flagged bulk carrier "Arctic Sea" failed to arrive at the Algerian port of Bejaia on August 4 as planned and the last communication with it occurred on July 28, according to the website

"On July 28, the ship literally disappeared -- no communication, no data on its location, not from the owners, nor relatives, nor Lloyds," the website states. "Sovfracht's" editor did not return calls to Reuters.

The same vessel, carrying timber, was boarded on July 24 off the Swedish coast and searched by attackers posing as policemen, who tied up the crew for 12 hours before leaving, the site states, quoting earlier media reports.

The 4,700-ton ship, originally called "Okhotsk," was built in 1991, has a Russian crew of 13, and is operated by a firm based in the Russian port of Arkhangelsk, according to data at the end of March, the site states.

Some of the earlier quoted reports in the Russian media stated there were 15 crew at the time of the boarding, and that the ship was transporting Finnish timber to Algeria. They also stated the earlier incident was being investigated in Sweden.