Cue Wagner: General Vatutin becomes the Flying Dutchman*


June 6, 2017 – Fort Russ News –, translated by Tom Winter –

legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever. (Sailor’s chorus!)

Original headline: The General Vatutin tried to evade border inspection. 

The liner “General Vatutin” for was very late in applying for passage of the Kerch-Enikalsk channel, and after learning about the intention of the border guards, the captain turned the ship around and began to leave, gaining speed. In connection with the strange actions of the ship, a search group was sent on board for trial, informed sources reported to

According to a spokesman of the editorial board, the allegations that the ship was heading to Rostov-on-Don are untrue. “In AIS (an automatic identification system that displays the position and route of the ships – “), you can specify anything. But the captain did not file an actual application to the port of Rostov”- said the source. The information on this was also officially confirmed to the PortNews agency by the Andrey Iovlev, captain of the seaport of Rostov-on-Don, who stated that he had no application from the Vatutin.

The the editorial board spokesman explained that until the spring of last year, proceeding along the Kerch-Enikal canal was possible without mandatory pilotage. This lasted exactly until the incident with the Turkish cargo ship “Lira” crashed into one of the technical supports of the Kerch bridge under construction in March of 2016. From then on, the posting is mandatory.

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Usually the application is submitted at least a day before the passage of the channel, however the Vatutin did not do this. As a result, the application was received only about 14:30 Moscow time (approximately one hour and a half before the actual time of passage), already some time after the ship’s traffic management services in Kerch and the Caucasus port learned from the media about the approach of the vessel.

“In connection with the strange actions of the ship – including due to the fact that it had disconnected its AIS and applied so late – it was decided to send border guards aboard. Almost immediately after the ship’s captain learned about this, he turned and began to leave, gaining speed. The inspection group boarded. At the moment, there is a check on board for clarification,” said another source.

Earlier on June 6, Ukrainian media reported that the cruise ship General Vatutin instead of calling at the port of Odessa began to move toward Russia, skirted the Crimea, and headed for Rostov-on-Don. The ship went on a cruise from Kiev on June 1.


An earlier report can be read here. We will continue following developments. Meanwhile we have seen reports that it was sold to a Russian company, that it was flying the flag of Belize, that it has had not passengers since 2013 — in short, there is a lot reporting out there that needs confirmation, and some of which simply cannot be true…  

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