Detained Russian Cargo Ship Kuzma Minin To Be Auctioned

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  • The Kuzma Minin along with its 18-strong crew, stuck at Falmouth for nearly three months.
  • Inspectors for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency published a damning list of dangerous defects in January.
  • The ship had been seized pending a legal dispute over the owners’ debts, and the legal disputes is dealt with through the Admiralty Court.
  • The court ordered the ship to be sold to the highest bidder, and the money to be used to pay off the outstanding debts.

The Russian cargo ship impounded in Cornwall since it ran aground before Christmas will be sold at auction next week, reports CornwallLive.

What happened?

The Russian cargo ship Kuzma Minin ran aground off a beach three months ago along with its 18-strong crew. It has been impounded at Falmouth ever since.

It was on December 18 that the large bulk carrier ran aground in stormy seas off Gyllyngvase beach. It had to be pulled clear at high tide by four tugs.

The Kuzma Minin was then taken to a mooring in the Carrick Roads.

Dangerous defects identified

In January, inspectors for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency published a damning list of dangerous defects.

The list included failures with safety equipment, damaged lifeboats and the ship’s compass not working.

Ship seized over a dispute

Then it emerged the ship had been seized pending a legal dispute over the owners’ debts. The Kuzma Minin is owned by the large Russian firm Murmansk Shipping Company.

The seizure of ships in legal disputes or ‘arrest’ to use the legal jargon is dealt with through the Admiralty Court, a specialist arm of the High Court of Justice based in London.

What is the court order?

The court has now ordered that the ship which was arrested since Feb 2019 at Falmouth, will be sold to the highest bidder, and the money raised will be used to pay off the outstanding debts.

There is no indication how much the the ship will go for at auction.

Who is handling the sale?

Paul Willcox, director of CW Kellock & Co Ltd, confirmed the company was handling the sale on behalf of the court.

He said: “Offers are to be submitted by noon on Tuesday, March 19. The admiralty marshal will usually accept the highest offer, and the buyer must then deposit 10 percent immediately and the balance within a week.”

What next?

“The buyer will then assume ownership and the court will confirm the vessel to be free of encumbrances and debts. The money paid into court will be apportioned to creditors in accordance with the ranking of their claims.”

What happens to the ship and its crew next will depend on the sale going through and the wishes of the new owners.

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Source: CornwallLive

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