Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Another Freight Vessel Alleged Seized by Somali Pirates

Fourth Ship in Three Weeks Taken
Shipping News Feature
SOMALIA – As the EU Naval Force urges ships to remain vigilant when transiting the Indian Ocean, reports coming out of Somalia suggest that a second vessel in as many days has been hijacked in Somali waters. Whilst details remain vague, pirates apparently hijacked a small Pakistani boat, the Salama 1 off the coast of Galmudug, an autonomous region in central Somalia, on Monday April 3 in what has most likely become the fourth attack in less than three weeks.

The Salama 1 was apparently carrying a cargo of food when she and her crew of unknown number were attacked, just days after the Indian vessel, the Al Kaushar and her crew of 11 men were taken on April 1. Attacks on ships in the waters off the coast of Somalia has dramatically declined in the years since 2012, after armed guards and self-protection measures, along with extra vigilance, became the norm when sailing in the region.

On March 13, pirates held the Comoros-flagged oil tanker, the Aris 13 for four days before releasing her without ransom. A week after her release, a Somali fishing vessel, the Casayr II No.30 was seized by pirates reportedly intended for use as a mothership. The vessel was later released by the pirates after they took one skiff and supplies.

In the meantime Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir 'Duaysane' had been fired as Head of the Anti-Piracy Operations in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, apparently over comments he made in regards to illegal fishing. He had warned that local fishermen could turn to piracy if no action was taken against those fishing illegally in Somali waters. It now seems as though his warning went unheeded.