Russia-linked superyacht goes dark

Superyacht Pacific (IMO 9569293), which has been linked to Leonid Mikhelson, Russia’s second richest-citizen whose gas company is a target of US sanctions, stopped transmitting its location on May 8th. It’s latest named destination was Nassau in the Bahamas.

The 85-metre vessel, valued at $150m was cruising at nearly full speed in the Caribbean Sea before it went dark during the evening of May 8th, according to vessel data compiled by Bloomberg.

It was thought unlikely that the Bahamas would be the vessel’s real destination, as it would most likely be arrested if it arrived there. More likely destinations in the vicinity were thought to include Cuba or Venezuela. However, even the latter could be involved in under-the-counter negotiations to re-enter the non-sanctioned fold, given the energy shortage caused by the sanctions on Russia.

The Pacific, now named just 319011300 on Marine Traffic, had been anchored at various ports and bays in Costa Rica since late January. It left the Papagayo marina near Culebra Bay on May 5th and headed southeast, passing through the Panama Canal.

Mikhelson has a fortune estimated at more than $25bn and is CEO of Novatek, the largest non-state-owned natural gas supplier in Russia. He was sanctioned by the UK and Canada in early April. The company is currently on the US sanctions list, although Mikhelson himself is not a named individual under US sanctions. Novatek produces about 10% of the country’s gas and Mikhelson owns a quarter of it.

2010-built, Cayman Islands-flagged, 2,959 gt Pacific is owned by Oakleigh Commercial Corp care of manager YCO SAM of Monaco-Ville, Monaco.