Venezuela drops charges against U.S.-flag ship

ocean-atlasSEPTEMBER 10, 2012 — Venezuela has dropped charges against the U.S.-flag heavy lift ship Ocean Atlas, detained in Maracaibo since August 29 in connection with three rifles carried on board for security purposes. (See earlier story)

The latest Facebook post from crew member who has been providing updates is:"Charges dropped!!! Sailing today or tomorrow!!!! "

CNN says that a U.S. State Department official has confirmed that the charges were dropped.

And at 12.24 p.m. today the Seafarers International Union issued the following statement.

"We are pleased to confirm that charges have been dropped against the vessel and crew and the Master has been returned to the vessel.  We continue to work cooperatively with the Venezuelan authorities on some administrative matters, which, when completed, will permit the vessel and crew to depart the port."

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