The Offshore Supply Ship AVANT GARDE was built in 1982 and is currently sailing under the Sri Lankan flag.
It has a carrying capacity of 1476 t DWT and a current draught of 4 meters. Her overall length is 59.35 meters and she is 15 meters wide.
In October 2015, the armory vessel Avant-Garde was apprehended in Galle, Sri Lanka. The country's defence ministry had approved the ship's approach to the port, and when it arrived, Sri Lankan Navy officers boarded it and placed it under government control.
During a search of the ship, Sri Lankan officials seized 816 T56 rifles, 84 other weaponry, and over 200,000 rounds of ammunition. The ship was only allowed to carry 100 weapons. Furthermore, at least 59 of the firearms discovered were said to have no discernible serial numbers.
In June 2016, Captain of the Avant-Garde, Gennadiy Gavrylov, was arrested but never charged in connection with the case. He was still imprisoned in Sri Lanka, unable to leave, work at sea, or contact his family at pleasure.
Captain Gennadiy Gavrylov has returned home after five years of diplomatic requests by the MTWTU(Marine Transport Workers' Trade Union of Ukraine), the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation), and the NSSL(National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka). He was reunited with his family on June 5th after landing safely in Ukraine.
According to the captain "My unions and I were the ones who battled for my freedom and justice. I am grateful to everyone who has helped me return home and has supported me throughout this period."