Somali pirates release South Korean ship

10:17, February 10, 2011      

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Somali pirates have released South Korean fishing vessel that was hijacked in October last year with 43 sailors aboard, the European Union anti-piracy mission confirmed on Wednesday.

EU Naval Force Somalia spokesman Paddy O'Kennedy said the FV Golden Wave which has 39 Kenyans, 2 South Koreans and 2 Chinese nationals was freed early on Wednesday. "Although the condition of the 43 crewmembers is not known at this time, EU NAVFOR understands that they are in need of food, water and medical aid," O'Kennedy said.

He said the EU naval force warship is currently heading toward the vessel to render immediate SOLAS assistance following a request from the South Korean government.

The Golden Wave, which is also known as the Keummi 305, was pirated off the Kenyan coast on October 9, 2010 while fishing 10 miles off the coast of Lamu, Kenya, at the time.

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 4 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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