Monday, February 28, 2011

Greek Ship Seized by Pirates

As Reported HERE
Somali pirates seize Greek ship with Russian national on board

28.02.2011, 16.20

NAIROBI, February 28 (Itar-Tass) - Somali pirates seized on Monday the Greek dry cargo ship Dover, representatives of the EU Naval Force which fights piracy in the area of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean within the framework of the Operation Atalanta.
There was one Russian crewmember on board, the sources said. According to them, the dry cargo ship was heading to Pakistan from Yemen and was attacked 260 miles away from the coast of Oman by sea pirates. At the moment contact with the ship has been lost, EU NAVFOR sources said.
There are 23 crewmen on board the ship – one Russian, three Romanians and 19 citizens of the Republic of the Philippines. Pirates yearly earn dozens of millions of dollars received as ransom. According to the non-governmental organisation ECOTERRA International, they currently hold over 50 ships and about 800 seamen.
The priorities of the EU Naval Forces are primarily to protect ships carrying aid for the World Food Programme and secondly to protect vulnerable commercial traffic on this key international trade route. Through advanced surveillance and continuous patrols by ships and aircraft under the auspices of EU, NATO and co-operating nations, pirates from Somalia are often intercepted and disarmed at sea.
According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) based in Kuala Lumpur, last year pirates set a record as to the number of hostage taking episodes. Most of them were seized in the waters washing the Somali coast. The Bureau reports that all in all 445 pirate attacks were fixed last year, which was ten percent more than in 2009. A total of 53 ships were seized, and 1,181 seamen were taken hostage. Eight seamen were killed last year.
Most hostage takings, 92 percent, took place in Somali waters. Nevertheless, owing to the presence of naval ships from different countries in the Gulf of Aden, the number of pirate attacks has declined there by almost half – to 53 from 117 in 2009.
The IMB has warned that the zone of Somali pirates’ activity is expanding in the Indian Ocean, now stretching to Mozambique in the south.

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