Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chemical Tanker Seized by Somali Pirates As Attacks On Freight Shipping Surge

NATO issues warning
Shipping News Feature

A maritime security alert has been issued for the Gulf of Aden after a merchant vessel - reportedly the 11,599 DWT chemical tankers Liquid Velvet - was hijacked yesterday and three other vessels attacked in the last forty-eight hours whilst transiting the area.

According to reports the vessel was approached by a single skiff then boarded in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) around 60 miles south east of Aden at 1152 local time. It is reported that the pirates were able to break into the citadel, and now have complete control of the vessel.

The vessel is currently heading east and is located 30nm north of Bosaso and according to NATO’s Shipping Centre (NSC) the situation is 'ongoing'. The organisation also reports that there have been two attacks and one approach in the last two days and that they have also received reports of a suspicious dhow in the vicinity of position 1730N 05728E which has been assessed to be a mother ship to pirate skiffs.

The NSC asks that any vessels under attack should immediately call the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) giving your ship's name, position and the nature of the attack/suspicious activity on telephone +971 50 552 3215.