Abandoned Russian Superyacht Could Pose Safety Hazard


The government of Antigua and Barbuda has an interest in selling off an abandoned Russian superyacht in a hurry, and not just because of the maintenance costs it is racking up. The luxurious yacht Alfa Nero could pose a threat to the environment and private property in the event of a casualty, according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, especially as the 267-foot vessel is not believed to be insured.

Alfa Nero has been linked to Russian billionaire Andrey Guryev, owner of fertilizer maker PhosAgro and confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Guryev was sanctioned by the U.S. government in early 2022 in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so when Alfa Nero appeared in Falmouth Harbor, the FBI arranged with local authorities to raid it and question the crew for evidence of ownership.

No one has stepped forward to lay claim to the vessel, so Antigua has moved to seize the yacht and auction it off to the highest bidder. This is an essential move to control risk to the environment and to local businesses, Prime Minister Browne told local media on Monday.

“There could be a fire. In fact, I am told the insurance of the marina could be affected because we have an uninsured vessel sitting in the marina and it is a risk to other boats,” he told the Antigua Observer. “We are talking about billions of dollars of assets in that harbor. And you can imagine if that vessel was to catch fire what will happen.”

Last week, Browne’s administration took the unusual step of pushing through a legislative amendment to ensure that the vessel’s sale could not be contested. The island nation’s small parliament considered and passed the bill in a single day, despite a walkout staged by opposition members in protest over the short timeline.

Browne’s office wants the auction to proceed quickly, before the hurricane season, and the vessel could go on the block within months. The government plans to keep the proceeds from the sale of the vessel, according to the Antigua Observer.

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  1. They couldn’t wait a week to let the representatives of the people review a proposed amendment to our laws? Boat or boat not, it is concerning how they just ram these things through without proper consideration. If the boat is a hazard then haul it out to sea and anchor it there until you figure out what to do with it. It’s obviously abandoned. Who is going to contest the sale anyway if it doesn’t have an owner?

  2. One thousand Africans flown here, some on “unauthorized” flights, with fraudulent documents and apparently nowhere to go, and this is being glossed over as, It’s Africa’s time now.” Additionally, these illegals are working. WORKING! How did they manage to get work permits, if they ever did? No security checks of these individuals, but they are showing Antiguans how to work, says the 18th candidate. All kinds of immigration and security violation and this is not a security risk, but one lone superyacht, sitting in a harbor, using a half billion dollars in fuel, just sitting there, is a huge security risk. HOW?
    No folks, there is something sinister and untoward about this whole thing, and you can just bet someone is pocketing some coins. The Gaston Browne led administration is renown for secrecy, and hidden agendas, and this explains why they hauled the auditor general into cabinet when he published the 2019 audited government report. Don’t think that these Russians are going to sit quiet and do nothing.

  3. Let’s be clear. This vessel was NOT abandoned, it was sized by the FBI, and not allowed to buy enough fuel to leave the island. Anyone who thinks somebody would bring a 600 million dollar vessel into port and ‘abandon’ it is a complete fool. The owner is just refusing to pay the costs for his vessel while it is under siesure by the FBI. This government should take its greasy paws off the Alpha Nero and stop risking the islands’ reputation and the future of it’s yachting industry. We are going to end up with fuel, maintenance, and litigation bills we cant afford, when we can’t even afford consistent running water in 2023. Gaston, just allow the vessel to buy the fuel it’s asking for and release it. Save us and our future generations the cost of this mess, because we are the ones who will ultimately foot this bill.

    • They say, sell the boat and put the money in the treasury.

      They are so sickening. They make me want to puke.

      We have not heard that the yacht have been involved in anything illegal. How come they want to sell the people property and keep the money?

      I hope the owners of the boat or their agent(s) know the individual names of the politicians who they might want to pay a visit to sometime in the future.

  4. Wow wow wow wow don’t cross the Russians we are to small to find our Country involved in these international Diplomatic Row be careful don’t get into a fight between Super Powers Listen to the people those comments from most of you are useless. Choski this has to do with the Polititians in India now what is happening to us now investigation into Kidnapping Humans trafficking and Torturing these are international Crimes meanwhile fingers pointing at us of course you have to answer ask your self the question why me I never got my AG to get involved in the matter. Let me warn you on this matter do you know anything about the Russians I give you a scene in England in 2018 in Sailbury Park Yulia and Sergie Skripal don’t take us down the road you also remember the agent Alexand Lilvineko not a pleasant situation for us Contact the owner. You see why you leave Jolly Harbour you are right

  5. There are many building in St Johns in need of repairs. They are a growing safety hazard daily. Why not tell the owners,if such buildings are not sure up. They would be confiscated and be sold at Public Auctions. Do that and see what happens.

  6. Just another episode, of #Da_Dadli -#CON❌🏴‍☠️ION!

    This piece of rock, since the days of Nelson have being known to attract, retain, entertain smugglers, pirates, buccaneers and Gangsters without refrain.
    The players and script have being tweaked, but the game is the same.

    I saw her, the Alfa Nero up close and she’s a bad, stealthy, take no prisoners kind of vibe.
    Almost like a #Ghost_Ship!

    The Government can also consider using it, as a Tour Vessel which circumnavigate our waters, to other islands as luxury charters, build capital to even purchase, lease other vessels to build a fleet. There have being talk of improved, upgraded Ferry_Services between the islands.
    Yes, I’m aware of the ‘management’ issues which plagues some of our Public Institutions, but hey, I’m an #optimist not a #pessimist.

    As, to amendments of Our ‘maritime laws,’ and the haste to make them the ‘law,’ remember “haste makes waste!”

    Just my English Harbour induced brain cells #2_Cents!
    By the way, why is it so expensive to enter Shirley Heights and the Dockyard?

    Ras Smood aka Jumbee_Picknee
    De ‘ole Dutty Peg_Foot Bastard

    Vere C. Edwards

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