Vienna, 21 November 2006 - The Ministry for Foreign Affairs was informed on 20 November that a chartered sailing yacht with an allegedly Austrian crew was missing in Croatia. The ship had been chartered in Split on 4 November and should have been returned in Dubrovnik on 18 November.
Intensive investigations led by the Austrian Embassy in Zagreb and the Honorary Consulate in Split together with the relevant Croatian authorities, as well as an examination by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior of all available information led to the conclusion that all data on the identity of the ship’s crew were obviously untrue. The data given by the crew as to their names, dates of birth and passports cannot be assigned to any living persons in Austria. Thus, the true identity of the ship’s crew still remains unknown.
No relatives of the ship’s crew have contacted the Foreign Ministry to date.
The Croatian authorities will be informed about the criminal investigation department’s findings and requested to provide further relevant facts. Upon receipt of these facts the Austrian side will take a decision on whether investigations will be continued.
Contact: Ministry for Foreign Affairs Astrid Harz 0676/8999-3418 and Austrian Bureau of Criminal Investigation Colonel Gerald Hesztera 0664/3230016