Sunday, October 24, 2010

Greek Owned Tander Taken by Pirates

As reported HERE
ATHENS-- A Greek-owned tanker with a German skipper and a crew of 16 has been seized by pirates off the coast of Kenya, officials said on Sunday.

The Singapore-flagged vessel York, a 5,076-tonne tanker en route for the Seychelles, is carrying 17 crew including a German master, two Ukrainians and 14 Filipinos, European naval forces in Brussels said in a statement.

It was attacked around 50 nautical miles east from the Kenyan port of Mombasa and initially drifted before moving at around 10 knots from Sunday morning.

The crew are believed to be in good health, a source at the ship's operating company, Athens-based Interunity Management Corporation, told AFP.

"We have not spoken to the crew but we believe they are in good health," the company representative said.

The Greek coastguard said the ship carries 150 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

"The authorities of Singapore are handling the case as they are the flag state and there are no Greeks on board," a coastguard spokeswoman said.

A Turkish warship confirmed the seizure Sunday after being dispatched to investigate after an attack on the MV York by two skiffs the previous day in the Somali basin, not long after it sailed out of Mombasa, the EU mission said in a statement.

The Turkish vessel TCG Gaziantep, operating under the Combined Maritime Forces, launched a helicopter to investigate.

"The helicopter was able to observe pirates with weapons on board the vessel," the statement said.

The EU mission said that in "a separate but seemingly linked incident" a fishing vessel, the Golden Wave that was pirated on October 9, was seen in the vicinity of the tanker.

Including this weekend's seizure, pirates currently are holding 19 vessels with 428 hostages, the statement said.

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