Friday, October 8, 2010

Pirates Hostage Total Nears 400 As Fishing Vessel Seized

Most Southerly Incident Yet Sees 14 Fishermen Kidnapped
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA – The confirmed seizure of the Taiwanese fishing vessel Feng Guo no. 168 today meant that the country’s pirate gangs are now holding three hundred and eighty three souls for ransom, the crews of the eighteen freight, container and private vessels they currently have under their control.

The latest incident took place at the most southerly point since the area of the Gulf of Aden and surrounding waters became the subject of attention by the EU NAVFOR force charged with protecting shipping in the region. As the seasonal weather has improved so have the number of reported attacks and this latest took place about 270 miles east of the Madagascan coast.

The Feng Guo shipped from Port Louis, Mauritius a week ago with a crew of fourteen, eight Vietnamese, three Chinese, two Indonesians, all serving under the Taiwanese captain. The place she was attacked would mean Somali pirates had to sail over 1200 miles to reach the attack point which seems to indicate a mother ship is plying the area carrying the now familiar inflatable skiffs armed with automatic weapons and possibly rocket propelled grenades.

In the past few weeks we have reported several incidents involving piracy but for those wishing to review the situation simply type the word pirate into the news search box at the top of this page.

Photo:- Feng Guo no. 168