PIRACY | Greek tanker hijacked

A Greek chemical tanker has become the lastest victim of Somali pirates operating north of the Gulf of Aden.

Evalend Shipping’s 13,000-dwt Motivator (built 2007) was snatched in the southern part of the Red Sea on Sunday.

There is an all-Filipino crew of 18 onboard the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker although there are no reports of any injuries.

The ship was seized about 50 miles north of the Bab el Mandeb strait just before 10:00 UTC on Sunday. Its ports of departure and destination are unknown. Nobody was immediately available for comment at the ship’s Athens-based owner and operator, Evalend.

The ship is classed by ABS and has P&I cover with the Standard Club.

Couter-piracy force EU NAVFOR later confirmed the attack, writing in a statement: “The MT Motivator reported it was under small arms fire from a pirate attack in the northern Bab Al Mandeb area in the southern Red Sea. After notification of this attack, attempts were made to make contact with the Motivator but to no avail. The hijack was confirmed early on 5 July.”

The ship is said to be carrying a cargo of lubes.

The hijacking comes just six days after a Singaporean chemical tanker was seized in the Gulf of Aden sparking fears that regional monsoons may not put paid to pirates’ activities over the summer period.

The 14,500-dwt Golden Blessing (built 2010) was taken in the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor (IRTC) on 28 June while en route from Saudi Arabia to India with 19 crew and a full cargo. Its current whereabouts is the subject of much debate, however, with naval forces keeping mum on its movements. Other sources suggest it reached the southern Somali coast at the end of last week but it is unknown if or where it has anchored. Ship tracking software suggests, however, that it is currently off a remote location in northern Puntland close to the Horn of Africa.

Sunday’s hijacking brings to three the number of Greek ships being held by Somali pirates. Samartzis Maritime’s 47,200-dwt bulker VOC Daisy (built 1998) was taken in the Gulf of Aden on 21 April while en route from UAE to Suez with 21 crew. Euroseas’ 72,100-dwt bulker Eleni P (built 1997) was seized in the Somali Basin on 12 May with 23 crew as it sailed from Ukraine to China with a cargo of iron ore.

Source: http://www.tradewinds.no/casualties/article562603.ece

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