Spanish fishing boat fights off pirate attack in Indian Ocean

09:39, March 05, 2010      

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A Spanish fishing boat from the Basque region, the Albacan, on Thursday escaped an attack from pirates while fishing in the Indian Ocean 350 miles off the coast of Kenya, local media reported.

The captain of the ship told RTVE that his crew had been able to "repel the attack" and the ship "was now sailing freely."

"When they (the pirates) were within range, they fired an incendiary grenade at us," he added.

The Albacan was able to fight off the pirates thanks to the presence of three armed security guards on board.

"The crew is in perfect state. They followed the protocol for these cases and were able to leave the pirate ship behind," Inaki Latxaga, the president of the company that owns the Albacan, was quoted as saying by local newspaper El Correo Vasco.

All the ships in the Spanish Tuna fleet in the Indian Ocean have been carrying armed guards on board since another fishing boat, the Alakrama, was hijacked by pirates in October last year.

The Spanish government has announced it will send one more patrol boat with a crew of 100 to protect the 22 Spanish boats in the region. Spanish frigate Navarra and a P3-Orion aircraft are already on protection duties in the Indian Ocean.

Source: Xinhua
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