There is a considerable amount of attention about the missing Russian cargo vessel Arctic Sea. The Maltese flagged ship is not a participant in the Amver system and Amver vessels have not been diverted to assist in the search.
The New York Times reports the ship's management believes the vessel was hijacked. CNBC reported the vessel was boarded by what appeared to be Swedish pirates. A recent European news report alludes to a possible mysterious cargo.
Could Amver play a role in the search for the missing ship? Certainly. Another use of Amver is to narrow down the possible search area of a missing ship. If the Arctic Sea was an Amver participant, it would have filed a sail plan prior to departing port and its route and destination known. As the Arctic Sea submitted position reports they would have been checked against that sail plan. Once the vessel was determined to be missing, search and rescue authorities could have reviewed the last position report against the sail plan and focused search and rescue efforts in a more defined area.
Shipping companies should consider this when weighing the decision to enroll in Amver. While their ships may be called upon to assist in a distress, they may also need to use Amver data to help determine the last known position of their vessel in the event it goes missing.
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