Tankers taken by pirates in Indian Ocean

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pirates have hijacked two tankers carrying a total of 374,255 metric tons of crude oil off the coast of Oman in the Indian Ocean. After these attacks, pirates now control 29 ships and 660 hostages; pirates recently released Keummi 305, a South Korean ship.

Early Tuesday, an Italian ship, MV Savina Caylin, was boarded 670 miles east of Socotra Island. The oil tanker had 104,255 metric tons on board; it was traveling from Sudan to Malaysia. Shots were fired at the vessel, beginning the attacks at 0625 GMT; the pirates used rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. At the time, the tanker was 500 miles from India and 800 miles from Somalia. An Italian navy spokesperson stated that no one was injured in the attack—17 crew members were on board when at least 5 pirates boarded.

A similar attack occurred Wednesday on a Greek tanker, containing 270,000 metric tons of oil, off the coast of Oman. Greek company Enesel SA, which manages the ship, reported that 25 crew members were on board. The vessel was headed from Kuwait to United States' Gulf of Mexico. Irene SL has not been in contact with its owners since the attack.