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The « Shtandart », a Russian ship, benefiting from a disputed derogation to the 5th package of the European sanctions, had to leave on the sly, on June 25, 2022, the port of La Rochelle La Pallice, as a result of a mobilization both in France and in Ukraine. Since June 6, 2022, the onboard AIS system has been deactivated. As a result, the boat navigates in complete opacity with regard to its port of origin, its port of destination, its speed, its route and its position. This suspicious behavior was reported to the French maritime authorities.
Division Action de l’Etat en Mer (French Maritime authoritiy)
Préfecture maritime de l’Atlantique (Commander in chief of French forces in the Atlantic Ocean)
Préfecture maritime de l’Atlantique- C.C. 46
29240 Brest Cedex 9
+33 298 221 223
Subject: Shandart, Russian tall ship, sailing in French territorial waters while having disconnected her AIS for three weeks
Date: June 30, 2022
Further to our phone conversation of this morning, I confirm that the Russian three-masted ship « Shtandart », MMSI: 273452840, is sailing in Spanish and French territorial waters, having deactivated its AIS since June 6, 2022, i.e. for more than three weeks.
Because the Shtandart engages, in particular, in the transport of people, this does not seem to me to be in accordance with chapter V of the SOLAS convention.
In addition to the legitimate suspicions that this type of behavior usually arouses on the part of the maritime authorities, an increased risk of collision can be pointed out. It seems to me judicious that your semaphores make a regular follow-up of it by optical watch and radar.
For your information, the Shtandart arrived in La Rochelle, in the trawler basin on June 8, 2022, from Pasaia, Spain. Shee left on June 12 for Bilbao, Spain, from where she returned to La Rochelle probably around June 22. Shee spent a few days in the basin of the La Rochelle La Pallice submarine base, which she left on June 25. She was seen in the Pertuis (open sea in front of La Rochelle) on June 26. Since then, her destination has not been made public.
In accordance with your instructions, I contacted the « Affaires Maritimes » of Brest which logically referred me to CROSS Etel (Biscay Bay coast guards). I communicated the elements exposed previously to the Head of the watchkeepers. I also contacted the CROSS Corsen (Ushant coast guards) which asked tobe copoied with this email.
I confirm that the Shtandart is sailing under the Russian flag and not the French one, as the CROSS Etel Head of the watchkeepers erroneously believed. Her skipper is Mr. Vladimir Martus, a Russian citizen from St Petersburg. The ship’s spokesperson in France is Mr. Ludovic Pacciarella of French nationality residing in La Rochelle. He is usually not on board. The vessel has a hull length of 25.40 m and an overall length of 34.50 m.
I am attaching to this email a screenshot from Marine Traffic showing the disconnection of the Shtandart’s AIS since June 6th as well as a photo of the vessel at La Pallice.
I remain at your disposal for any additional information and please accept, Dear Madam, the expression of my respectful greetings.
Lieutenant de Vaisseau (ER) Bernard Grua
Response received on July 5, 2022
Answer from the State Action at Sea (AEM) service, Maritime Prefecture (Premar) of the second region (Atlantic):
We have taken note of the content of your message, which has been transmitted to the services in charge of the maritime traffic police.