Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Somali Pirates Hijack two ships;

Somalia: Two different cargo ships hijacked today and both East of the IRTC

http://www.eunavfor.eu/2010/03/bermuda-flagged-cargo-ship-hijacked-in-gulf-of-aden/This afternoon, Tuesday 23 March, the Bermuda flagged British Virgin Islands owned cargo ship MV TALCA was reported hijacked.
The hijacking took place approximately 120 nautical miles off the coast of Oman and 180 miles south of Mazera. MV TALCA was heading from Sokhna in Egypt to Busheir in Iran. It had already passed through the International Recommended Transit Corridor, which is patrolled by warships and maritime patrol aircraft from EU NAVFOR, NATO, Combined Maritime Forces and other navies. Twenty-three of the crew are from Sri Lanka, one from the Philippines and one from Syria. MV TALCA has dead weight of 11 055 tonnes. EU NAVFOR will continue to monitor the situation.
Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP) and vessels of AMISOM, and to protect vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Somali pirates have hijacked a ship some 1,800km (1,100 miles) from their bases - closer to India than Africa, the EU naval force says.
Cdr John Harbour said the attack, on a Turkish-owned ship, marked a major increase in the pirates' range.
He said the EU force had launched a new strategy which was pushing the pirate gangs further afield.
Somalia has been riven by civil war and unrest since 1991, allowing the pirates relative impunity.
Some of the pirates leaders have amassed fortunes by holding ships for ransom, and the Gulf of Aden has become one of the most dangerous shipping lanes in the world.
But Cdr Harbour said the EU force had disrupted about 17 pirate attacks in the past three weeks.
"The EU, Nato and combined maritime forces have been taking the fight to the pirates," he told the BBC.
"We've tried to stop them getting off the beaches; when they've got to the Indian Ocean, we've been very aggressive in targeting the individuals and disrupting pirate activity."
The ship, named as the MV Frigia, was heading east but has now turned around.
The EU said it was sailing west and appeared to be heading for one of the known pirate ports in Somalia.
The cargo ship has a 21-strong crew - 19 Turks and two Ukrainians.

For the last year, we have been saying that ship protection needs to extend far beyond the IRTC. Many ship companies have become reliant on the naval forces to protect them, but have ignored the danger areas beyond the IRTC

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