One of Norway’ three classic old sailing ships, the Christian Radich, suddenly found itself too close for comfort while sailing from Oslo to Gotland in the Baltic Sea on Monday. It picked up “unusual echoes” on its radar, and was just six kilometers from this week’s massive gas leak from submerged Russian pipelines.
The Tall Ship was sailing off the Danish island of Bornholm at around 7:30pm when the two unusual “echoes” were registered. “You normally get a clear signature from other vessels, but these echoes were different,” Fridtjof Jungeling, captain of the Christian Radich, told state broadcaster NRK. “The pipelines are marked on our sea charts and we saw that the echoes came from the same area, so we sailed around it.”
That entailed a detour, and Jungeling said he contacted Swedish maritime authorities around 8pm. They could confirm suspicions of a gas leak from a pipeline.
The high-masted Christian Radich changed course and sailed around three nautical miles north of the gas leaks, which Jungeling said they could smell in the air. The historic vessel arrived safely in Gotland and he said he thought local coast guard authorities handled the situation well.
The gas leaks are widely believed to be caused by sabotage to the pipelines. Russian authorities have claimed that suggestions they were behind the sabotage are “stupid and absurd.”