All sailors aboard S. Korean ship near Somali confirmed safe: gov't

09:22, April 22, 2011      

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All 20 crew members aboard a South Korean commercial vessel believed to have been hijacked by pirates were confirmed safe Thursday by naval commandos, the foreign ministry in Seoul said.

The confirmation comes after the 75,000-ton container ship en route to Singapore from Spain lost communication with its owner, Hanjin Shipping, at 5:15 a.m. Korea time (2015 GMT on Wednesday), after sailors reported an emergency situation in waters off the Somali coast.

The South Korean commandos aboard a naval destroyer, stationed in nearby waters for anti-piracy operations, arrived at the scene reportedly at 5 p.m. Korea time (0800 GMT), and found 14 South Koreans and 6 Indonesians safely hiding in a citadel.

Local reports earlier reported that the vessel appeared to have been seized by pirates, but the commandos found no Somali pirates aboard the ship.

Source: Xinhua
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