Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pirates Attack Freighter In Somali Basin

Greek Ship Heading for African Coast
Shipping News Feature

INDIAN OCEAN- Another pirate attack reported today when the MV Lugela, a Greek operated, Panamanian flagged freight vessel, reportedly carrying a cargo of steel bars and wires to Mauritius, was attacked and seized by pirates about 900 miles East of Eil (Eyl) on the Somali coast known in previous press reports as ‘Somalia’s only boom town’.

The 4281 dwt ship, complete with its all Ukrainian crew, is now headed back toward the African coast, presumably to be held for ransom like so many others. With the end of the monsoon season coming the number of attacks of this type are expected to increase according to EU NAVFOR and previous history.

No further news on the weeks other major pirate incident, the seizing of the French ATHS vessel Bourbon Alexandre, with no bulletins issued by the owners since their original statement. According to unsubstantiated African news sources there were in fact four hostages seized in that attack, three French officers and a Thai seaman, and the captives have been located by the ‘Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta’ (MEND) who say they are negotiating for the release of the men plus another unreported simultaneous attack resulted in other hostages seized from an adjacent vessel.

The owners of the Bourbon Alexandre are, as we stated previously, well versed in this type of negotiation and it is to be expected that they will issue no further statements until their staff have been released, hopefully no worse for their experiences.