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    Missing Arctic Sea ship found, crew taken to Russian warship

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    The missing Arctic Sea vessel has been found and its crew taken to a Russian warship, the Russian defense minister said on Monday.

    ASTRAKHAN, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - The missing Arctic Sea vessel has been found and its crew taken to a Russian warship, the Russian defense minister said on Monday.

    "At 1:00 p.m. Moscow time [09:00 GMT], it was found 300 miles off Cape Verde islands. The crew is alive. They were taken to the Ladny frigate," Anatoly Serdyukov said.

    He told President Dmitry Medvedev that an investigation was underway "to identify the circumstances behind the vessel's disappearance and its failure to make radio contact."

    He added that more details would be provided within the next few hours.

    The Maltese-flagged cargo ship left Finland with a cargo of timber on July 22 en route for Algeria. The ship last made radio contact with British coastguards on July 28.

    Interpol said earlier the ship was briefly seized in Swedish waters of the Baltic Sea by masked men claiming to be police on July 24. Reports state that after 12 hours the men left the ship and the Arctic Sea resumed its voyage.

    Russia's Dmitry Medvedev last week instructed the country's Navy to launch a search for the missing ship.

    The tracking device aboard the Arctic Sea was briefly reactivated on Saturday, showing the vessel to be located in the Atlantic's Bay of Biscay near France's La Rochelle port, according to Sovfracht, a Russian maritime journal.

     

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