Bulk carrier to change Ukrainian crew before visiting Russian port, as a precaution

Capesize bulk carrier VITUS BERING stopped short of port of destination, Murmansk, some 15 nm off easternmost Norway, with the intention of changing 12 of its’ crew via Vardo port Norway, writes Norwegian news agency NRK on Apr 20. 12 crew, all of Ukrainian nationality, are to be replaced. NRK believes Ukrainian sailors don’t want to visit Russian port, while Vardo Traffic Control Center says no explanation was given in crew change notice and application.
Comment: Whether it’s manager precaution or Ukrainian sailors fears, both ways, it is well-founded. Cases of Ukrainian sailors seized on board of foreign ships at Russian ports were already registered. They’ve been apprehend as allegedly, suspects in “terrorism” activities, or for “spreading fakes and lies”, with regards to Russian invasion. So of course, it’s better to stay on the safe side, and replace all Ukrainians with any other nationality, not yet blacklisted by Kremlin.
Bulk carrier VITUS BERING, IMO 9838840, dwt 104555, built 2015, flag Bahamas, ISM manager GESTMAR TEHNIKA DOO, Croatia.



My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.