Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tanker Seized By Somali Pirates Liberated By Russian Destroyer

Marines Storm Captured Vessel
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA – Russian marines have stormed an oil tanker that was seized by Somali pirates yesterday some 350 miles east of the Gulf of Aden. According to reports none of the 23-strong crew, who apparently had locked themselves in the ships engine room, nor the marines were hurt in the operation.

The Moscow University, which was on route to China with 86,000 tons of oil onboard and belongs to the OAO Novorossiysk Sea Shipping Co., was attacked at around 0400 GMT yesterday by an unknown number of raiders.

Responding to distress calls from the ships captain the destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, part of Russia’s Pacific Fleet and currently serving in an anti-piracy role in the Indian Ocean, proceeded to intercept the tanker.

Despite threats of dire consequences to the crew, the Marshal Shaposhnikov’s captain was quick to realise the predicament of the pirates, who were effectively adrift, and dispatched forces to take back control of the vessel.

A number of pirates have been arrested and according to the RIA news agency the Russian Prosecutor General's Office has opened a criminal case on charges of piracy.

(pic: the Marshal Shaposhnikov)