Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hijacking off Cameroon

As Reported by EU NAVFOR

PIRATES from Cameroon have reportedly hijacked a Russian general cargo ship and taken its master and chief mechanic hostages.

North Spirit and its Russian-Ukrainian crew were hijacked yesterday, the Russian Professional Sailors Union told Interfax today. It was transporting 6,261 tonnes of fertilisers and soya.

“The ship was flying the flag of St Vincent & the Grenadines and was managed by the Greek company Balthellas Chartering,” the union said.

About 20 armed men took the 7,148dwt ship to Cameroon’s port of Douala, where the pirates disabled all radio and navigation equipment, and took valuables, computers, money and personal effects.

Captain Boris Tersintsev of Vladivostok and senior mechanic Igor Shumik were taken away to the pirates’ boat at gunpoint, while the rest of the crew was made to lie down on deck, said the union, which added: “The men's whereabouts are still unknown."

Russian authorities have not yet commented on the hijacking. One pirate was killed and 10 were captured when Russian forces stormed the hijacked oil tanker Moscow University a day after it was seized on 5 May.

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