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Mar-29-2010 16:35printcomments

Pirates Seize Ships Near Port of Aden

Another ship falls to Somali pirates.

Gulf of Aden
Region where hijacking occurred. Courtesy:

(NAIROBI / SALEM) - The Panamanian-flagged cargo ship MV Iceberg 1 was hijacked by Somali pirates today, about ten nautical miles from Aden Port in the Gulf of Aden, along with her crew of 24, according to Ecoterra International.

The vessel is now being sailed toward the Somali coast, though little more is known. The situation has led to Ecoterra offering this advice for sea captains in the region:

All ships are advised to be cautious. While navigating in the region vessels are urged to operate at a heightened state of readiness, maintaining strict 24-hour anti-pirate visual and radar watches. Actively implement recommended anti-piracy measures and regularly report their position/course/speed to UKMTO.

Ecoterra reminds navigators that early assessment is vital, and that detection will allow ships to take evasive measures to prevent boarding, and also to issue their request for assistance.

All attacks and suspicious sightings including possible pirate mother vessel towing skiffs should be reported.

The MV Iceberg 1 was heading for the port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates. Her crew reportedly is comprised of six different nationalities (Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan and Philippines), according to the anti-piracy mission of the European Union and NATO.

This freighter attack is said to have happened outside the international corridor (IRTC) that is suggested to mariners, in order to reduce the risk of pirate attacks.

EFE News out of Brussels, reports that the company that owns the vessel, sent out the warning after receiving a communication from the captain. He told them that the merchant was being "addressed" by several pirates.

The 'Iceberg 1', a ship of type Ro-Ro (ro-ro) that carries a cargo of mechanical equipment, currently sailing due to the coast of Somalia, according to both missions.

The situation is being tracked by a number of units from the European operation 'Atalanta'.

NATO insisted that the ships transiting the Gulf of Aden should maintain a visual and radar surveillance 24 hours a day as well as implement other preventive measures against the threat of piracy.


Source: Ecoterra International, NATO, the European Union and Por Agencia EFE

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Natalie March 30, 2010 8:19 pm (Pacific time)

The crew still has to defend the ship somohow, so, why not to make it a job requirement to have some weapon skills and be armed? The better the skills-the higher their pay. Cheap and effective. Fear for own life teaches fast...

jimmy March 30, 2010 11:37 am (Pacific time)

Nope, most ships are not armed as that would involve costs that most ship owners simply will not pay. Cost for the arms, costs to train the crew, and cost to pay the crew to become a security force.

douglas benson March 30, 2010 8:30 am (Pacific time)

Arent these ships armed? I might be mistaken but I thought ships had arms lockers that could be opened in international waters and in this case why not untill they reach port or close anyway . How hard is it really to defend a ship with several stories of high ground ,cover ,and say a few fifties with AP rounds . It is kind of cool pirates are coming back Yo ho ho [I allways wanted to run away to be a pirate ] . If they werent starving mabey they wouldnt be doing this in the first place just a thought .

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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