‘Mystery ship’ set sail from Jersey when denied harbour entry

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MORE details have emerged about the movements of a Russian-crewed ship which arrived in Channel Islands waters at the start of the month and whose crew are asking for food and clothes donations.

The Nigerian-registered, Russian-crewed MV Jireh has been moored in the Little Russel since last week with the crew sent food and clothes. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 26399405)

MV Jireh – a former Norwegian fjord ferry apparently en route from Norway to Dakar in Senegal – anchored off Gorey in Jersey on Saturday 9 November and initially told authorities there that they had sufficient supplies and fuel.

The crew of the Nigerian-registered ship later asked to be allowed to dock in St Helier Harbour, but when they were told they needed to appoint agents to represent them, they left Jersey waters.

The boat has been moored in the Little Russel off Guernsey since Wednesday 13 November, according to AIS data.

Jersey harbour master Captain Bill Sadler said: ‘They came down the east coast at the beginning of the month and asked to anchor.

‘They later asked for a berth for a crew change but, as is standard practice when dealing with visiting ships, they were told they needed to appoint a ship’s agent to represent them. The following day they disappeared off to Guernsey.’

The ship was recently sold by a Norwegian firm after being put up for sale for a reported $460,000 and changed its name from MV Strandebarm.

It is understood that the vessel is being taken to its new owners in the capital of Senegal.

The Co-op in Guernsey sent the crew food recently, and the local branch of the Red Cross dispatched men’s clothing.

Nine people are on board.

According to shipping websites, the vessel was built in Norway in 1971 and can carry 195 passengers and 21 cars or three trucks. It can travel at up to 11.5 knots.

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann

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