Eastport Port Authority Turns Away a Russian Ship Looking to Dock
A Russian vessel that's looking for a place to dock was turned away by the Harbormaster in Eastport.
Maine is known as a state that opens its doors to anyone. The sign at the border says 'Welcome Home,' and our motto is 'Vacationland.' But the crew of a Russian vessel that needed a temporary port of call was not only lacking a friendly welcome but was denied access altogether. Officials say the war in Ukraine is only part of the reason the ship was turned away.
What Brought the Ship to Maine?
The ship's operator on the Fescu Ulis contacted the Eastport Port Authority on March 3rd, asking to dock there after being turned away from a port on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Canadian government had denied port access to the vessel because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions on Russia.
Why Was the Fescu Ulis Turned Away?
It's request, however, was denied by the Maine port authorities, due to what Chris Gardner, Executive Director of the Eastport Port Authority called a 'myriad of reasons.' Gardner told the Portland Press Herald that the invasion of Ukraine and President Biden's sanctions on Russia certainly played into the decision. But, he says, there's also the fact that it was very short notice and the ship is carrying solid pitch, a petroleum-based product that local authorities have never handled. The ship operator was also asking for warehouse space, again, with very short notice.
Where is the Ship Now?
After being denied access to Maine, the Fescu Ulis headed south. According to a Marine Traffic website, it was off the shore of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Wednesday morning.