Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Pirate Attacks On Freight And Coastal Shipping

Somalia Hijack Starts 2011 as Depressing as Ever
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA – Despite the close attentions of the EU Navfor mission and NATO’s Operation Shield, piracy in the Gulf of Aden and beyond seems set to continue into the New Year in the same vein as it finished 2010. Once again a freight vessel was seized on the 1st January about 150 nautical miles off the coast of Oman. The MV Blida, a 20,586 tonne dry bulk carrier en route to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with a cargo of clinker was seized together with her crew of twenty seven Algerians, Filipinos and Ukrainians bringing the total of vessels held by Somali pirate groups to twenty eight together with six hundred and fifty four hostages.

As well as the Algerian owned and flagged freight vessel two other ships were seized toward the years end. On Christmas day the Taiwanese fishing boat Shiuh Fu No 1 was apparently taken 120 miles North East of Madagascar and another fishing vessel, the Vega 5, which her Mozambican owners had reported as missing, was confirmed as pirated when she was spotted towing a skiff on New Years Eve around 200 miles South West of the Comoros Islands.

The smaller ships provide easier targets than the larger freighters but usually with less potential rewards for the captors. An interesting video of a day on board an EU Navfor pirate hunter has been made by EuroparlTV and can be viewed HERE.

For previous history of pirate attacks and information on successful deterrents being used in the region readers should simply type pirate into the News search box at the top of the page.