Mystery Tug

Mystery tug caught with drugs off Aruba:

Anybody recognize the tug, or know anything about this case?

Is it likely to be this one:

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China has been doing this crap for years. The green fleet and double and triple ship registrations around the world. Thank god for ais,and INTEGRATED world wide security to keep the cheats from running ghost fleets. Copy an IMO number, turn off electronics, and hope you ‘fall under the radar’ so to speak.

Too bad people have such egos they think “No one will speak about the mission or the refurbishment we have done to make this happen” Greed (reward money) is a powerful tool in in these countries where these people slave for pennies on the dollar.

If you think that’s the same tug you need new glasses…

What has this got to do with China??
The green Fleet, does that refer to the US Navy project by that name?:

Turning off AIS is apparently something done by many ships these days and it is not a surprise that someone smuggling drugs does it.

No I did not think it was, since I checked on Vesselfinder that the tug with the name Jefferson and the reported IMO # is presently in the US:
Although this tug was reportedly working in Colombia earlier and the pictures found of it is fairly old (2014):
Aside from the wheelhouse there is not a lot of difference from this one:
It is not impossible that the wheelhouse has been replaced sometime between these two pictures,

Has anybody got an up to date picture of the US flag tug Jefferson (IMO # 5091286) to clear this up??

…superstructure, LOA, mooring/towing bits, electronics, and stack arrangement there is not a lot of difference. I mean both hulls are black, so they probably are the same vessel.

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But does not make sense if the Aruba event happened in Oct. this year, since the Jefferson was in Florida at the time.
Normal mix up by a non-maritime reporter, or two tugs of the same design and the IMO # read incorrect?
Any other suggestions?

Not sure what you are on about. Where did you get the Aruba tug’s IMO#? Isn’t that it in the first photo welded onto the front of the wheel house? Not the same.

From the original linked article:

Perhaps the reporter has access to better resolution photos. I can’t read the IMO # in the photo. But I can tell it isn’t 5091286. It ends in 957 or 952.

As for a U.S. tug named Jefferson, there are at least 5 in the USCG PSIX database.

OK so maybe the one in the second link in my first post is it?:
This one has IMO # 5166952 (Having blown up the picture, that looks more likely)

Confusing that several vessels in the same register can have the same name.
Has it anything to do with which state the boats are registered in??

Vessel Name: JEFFERSON
Primary Vessel Number: 5166952 (IMO Number)
Hull Identification Number: N/A
Manufacturer Hull Number: N/A
IMO Number: 5166952
Vessel Flag: COLOMBIA
Vessel Call Sign: WDC3088

I don’t know how a Columbia flagged tug could end up in any shenanigans. :roll_eyes:

According to Marine traffic the tug Jefferson, IMO # 5166952 is flying the flag of St.Helena and arrived in Cartagena, Colombia 11.02.2012. No further tracking reported:

No records found for a tug named Garcia with that IMO #. (Or any other)

The green fleet I referred to was (IIRC it was a long time ago!) the tank ship company which was caught with multiple vessels with identical registry numbers, working in different parts of the world, until one was involved in a fatal accident. Then regulatory agencies found out the duplicity. This was circa 1980 or so. Its been done before. It would appear the same method is being done here. There is no way that is the same tug in the pics. Different sheer, bow, house, wheehouse, stack, bits, waist etc etc etc. The only commonality is the black fenders.

A Colombian flagged tug wouldn’t have a W prefixed call sign, that info isn’t quite correct either.

had a mate who eng brother worked on a freighter with a clone, did lots of dodgy stuff europe to africa.
Said they got hunted but never caught.