Monday, January 18, 2010

Tanker Eventually Freed By Pirates

Pirates Resolve Fight Over Huge Cash Drop
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA – A new and worrying development, though one that is hardly surprising, has occurred concerning the scourge of piracy off the coast of Somalia. It now seems that shipping owners who pay large ransoms' to hijackers could well end up endangering their vessels and crews.

The delivery of a ransom on Sunday onto the deck of the Maran Centaurus, believed to be about $5.5 million and the largest to date, appears to have sparked fighting between rival gangs over shares with, according to reports, pirates aboard the Centaurus exchanging fire with their fellows in speedboats circling the vessel.

This led to a stand-off developing between the groups, with the pirates in possession of the cash unable to return to shore.

Fortunately the situation has been resolved and the vessels and her crew are now sailing out of Somali waters and being monitored by the EU’s Naval Force

The 300,000-dwt tanker was seized in November near the Seychelles whilst on route to the USA from Saudi Arabia. Its 28 strong crew are reported to be well.