Owner of Abandoned Tanker in Liberia Emerges

A Nigerian national, identified as Robert M. Saigba, has claimed ownership of the mysterious crewless ship Tamaya 1 that washed ashore on Liberian coast on May 3, Agence Africaine de Presse (APA) writes citing a statement from the country’s Defense Ministry.

As disclosed, the ship was bought in 2015, and has since been operating under H. Matic’s Resources Limited based in Bayelsa State in Nigeria. Saigba claims to be one of two shareholders in the company, engaged in the supply of petroleum products and marine logistics, among other things.

The reason behind the ship being abandoned by its crew is said to be sinking of the vessel while the tanker was sailing east of Freetown, Sierra Leone towards Conakry, Guinea. Allegedly, as the crew could not put under control the water ingress in the engine room, they abandoned ship in one of its lifeboats.

World Maritime News is yet to receive a reply from the ministry on the matter.

A previous inspection by the Liberian Coast Guard determined that the tanker was missing one of its raft boats, which corresponds to the claims by of Mr Saigba.

The inspection also determined that the 1,441 DWT oil tanker had been gutted by fire, leaving the bridge-upper and control center- burned along with all relevant documentation. In addition, the ship’s hatches were opened and contained a mixture of oil and water.

The Nigerian flagged 1980-built vessel was last reported to be  listing to the starboard.

World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Preston Veteran Gayflor/Farbric Radio

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