The Rix Emerald, registered with the Baltic Shipping Company and flying the Cypriot flag, departed from Lilla Edet to Montrose. While going down the Göta River on Friday, it experienced technical problems; the vessel was transmitting a load of oats.

According to the Swedish National public television, the Swedish Transport Agency tried to detain the vessel, which didn't slow down, resulting to several bridges being forcefully opened, whereas later on, the vessel disappeared from view.

Moreover, Pekka Piirainen, a duty officer with the agency, informed that when he received a call from the pilot office stating there was a problem with the vessel’s main engine. Although he tried to communicate with the vessel's captain, the latter reported that there was no problem and hung up.

Following, while being chased down, the vessel disappeared, according to the Courier, as the authorities were unable to detect its AIS.

 Mrs. Irene Anastassiou, Senior Lawyer at the Gard P&I Club, noted that the practice of turning off the AIS to avoid detection is a breach of SOLAS and Flag State requirements, while it increases the risk of maritime casualties and loss of life.

Yet, on Sunday the vessel was traced in the middle of the North Sea.

Therefore, Mr Piirainen contacted the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) asking it to investigate the incident.

UK MCA officers boarded the vessel to determine whether it experienced technical problems. Thus, a spokeswoman reported that the inspection resulted in a few deficiencies, none of which are detainable.

Consequently, the vessel was free to sail again and continue its journey.

Concerning the importance of AIS in order to prevent accidents with ships sailing in the sea, Startup UnseenLabs informed about its intentions to launch satellites that will monitor maritime traffic, by using orbiting sensors to track vessels that turn off their AIS.