This Blog serves as two things: a photo-diary of our lives between 2007 and mid 2011, when we saw some incredible things and met some amazing people; and a reflection of our more normal lives since then.

Monday, 2 November 2009

M/V Sharon

One of our favourite little ships that visits Cotonou is the M/V Sharon - the blue freighter on the right in the photo below. Registered in Guinea, she is crewed by English speaking Ghanaian and Nigerian crew, who are very nice guys - their bosun even knows our bosun, and I enjoyed taking Anna and Libby for a tour of their ship a few weeks ago. The Sharon survives by taking charters to carry freight along the West African coast (in fact, they used to work the coast of Liberia until they arrived in Cotonou last month). Their most recent charter has, however, got them into very serious trouble - they were chartered to take cargo and over 300 passengers from Benin to Gabon (further down the coast of West Africa) but weren't allowed to land the passengers because they didn't have the right documents and weren't a passenger-carrying vessel...so they were sent back to Cotonou and the ship was promptly seized by the authorities. Our friends the Captain and the Chief Engineer are now in prison in Cotonou, but will be released soon, I hear. The real culprit is the charterer, who is facing prosecution and imprisonment. Yesterday a TV crew from Canal 3 turned up to film the vessel; today it is heavily guarded by armed soldiers and various Police divisions...



Below, a senior Marine from Benin's Armed Forces talking to the Police...
Below, Immigration Police standing by...
Below, an army gunboat standing by...
This investigative report was brought to you by Olly...

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