Somali pirates seize Greek freighter, 25 crew in the Gulf of Aden
Thursday, September 18, 2008
According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), pirates have seized a Greek bulk carrier en route to Kenya with 25 crew on board in the Gulf of Aden some 370 kilometers from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
Noel Choong, who represents the International Maritime Bureau, advised ships traveling through the gulf to take extra precautions. "It appears that the pirates are now attacking ships in two areas, the eastern part of Somalia and northern parts of the Horn of Africa nation," he said. "Ships are warned to take extra measures and stay 200 nautical miles away from the coast. They must maintain a strict watch.
The Gulf of Aden is a dangerous place for ships, with many incidents of piracy occurring regularly in the Gulf.
Four hours earlier pirates had attacked another vessel, a chemical tanker from Hong Kong, which was at the time carrying 22 crew members. Following that attack, the gulf was described by the managing director of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association as an "incredibly dangerous place."
In response to this, several large shipping organisations have called for countries to deploy forces from their Navies in the Gulf of Aden.
"The shipping industry's plea is in response to a situation which it describes as in danger of spiralling completely and irretrievably out of control," said the group which consisted of the International Chamber of Shipping, Intercargo, Bimco and Intertanko. "Continued inaction against these violent acts could prompt shipowners to redirect their ships via the Cape of Good Hope, with severe consequences for international trade, including increased prices for delivered goods."
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The group also said that there have been 40 hijackings in the gulf, resulting in 133 crew members being kidnapped and 10 ships being held. According to the IMB six gangs totalling approximately 1,200 people have carried out these attacks.
- "Somali Pirates Seize Greek Bulk Carrier With 25 Crew On Board" — Bloomberg L.P., September 18, 2008
- "Official: Pirates seize Hong Kong ship off Somalia" — Associated Press, September 18, 2008
- "Warships needed to halt Somalia pirates-shipowners" — guardian.co.uk, September 18, 2008
- Paul Mozur. "Pirates seize HK tanker" — The Standard, September 17, 2008