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Environmental Sailing Ship Chases a Tanker Out of Sweden for Carrying Russian Gas

A vessel that blocks the path of a bigger one, forcing it to leave, could sound like a combat scene. But the protagonists are an environmental organization’s sailing ship and a commercial tanker. And the “battle” is a modern one, a ripple effect of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Coral Energy had to turn around from Sweden and is now waiting for instructions in the Baltic Sea 9 photos
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It all started at the end of last week, when a tanker was on its way to delivering Russian gas at an LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal in Nynashamn, south of Stockholm. But a sailing vessel and its kayaks stopped it from it docking, while people were climbing on the cranes that would unload the gas, effectively “occupying” them.

The tanker was Coral Energy, a 508-foot (155 meters) gas carrier built in 2013, with a Dutch flag, equipped with eco-friendly dual-fuel engines. It was meant for delivering LNG to smaller terminals and remote locations.

The bold sailing vessel blocking its path was SY Witness, launched as “the newest and greenest vessel in the Greenpeace fleet.” The boat itself isn’t exactly young, as it was built in 2003, in South Africa. Back then, it was known as Pelagic Australis.

Last year it underwent a “green” refit, meaning that it was fitted with wind turbines, solar panels, and an improved power-management system. Plus, it’s the smallest in the fleet, at a length of just 74 feet (22.5 meters), which is an asset, because it allows it to navigate shallow waters where bigger ships can’t reach. This year, it kicked off its first operations, and this one was apparently a success.

By the end of last week, Coral Energy had turned around without unloading its controversial cargo, even though the police had taken down the activists off the cranes and had taken over SY Witness, moving it out of the way, according to Offshore Energy.

At the moment, the carrier is still “stuck” in the Baltic Sea, with no clear destination. According to marine tracking platforms, its system is indicating the “For order” designation, which means that it’s basically waiting for instructions.

Similar actions took place in Norway and the UK, against the import of Russian gas, but even against oligarch-owned superyachts.


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