Somali pirates fail to hijack Marshall Island-flagged tanker

21:38, December 17, 2010      

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Somali pirates have failed to hijack a Marshall Island-flagged tanker with 28 crew members on board, about 220 nautical miles West of Angria Bank, India, EU Naval Force said on Friday.

Naval Force spokesman Paddy O'Kennedy said the MV Hellespont Trinity was unsuccessfully attacked on Thursday morning by one skiff in the Indian Ocean thanks to the Best Management Practices. "The master, who was following Best Management Practices and when the attack occurred, increased speed and initiated evasive maneuvers to deter the pirates," O'Kennedy said.

He noted that the pirates were therefore unable to board the vessel and stopped their efforts with no injuries reported. He said the 28 crew members are reported safe.

The pirates have intensified their action in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden and most of hijackings end without casualties when a ransom has been paid, but often after several months of negotiations.

The Gulf of Aden, a body of water between Somalia and Yemen, is the main sea route between Europe and Asia.

Tankers carrying Middle East oil through the Suez Canal must pass first through the Gulf of Aden. About four percent of the world's daily oil supply is shipped through the Gulf.

The attacks are being carried out by increasingly well- coordinated Somali gangs armed with automatic weapons and rocket- propelled grenades, maritime officials said.

The Horn of Africa nation has been without a functioning government since 1991, and remains one of the world's most violent and lawless countries.

Combined Task Force 150, a naval alliance dominated by the United States and based in the Gulf of Aden nation of Djibouti, is patrolling an area within the Gulf of Aden to help protect ships from pirates.

Source: Xinhua
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