Chemical tanker captured by pirates off Somalia - IMB

17 November 2009 11:23  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Somali pirates have captured a chemical tanker in the south Somali basin of the Indian Ocean, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Tuesday.

IMB spokesperson Cyrus Mody said that the seized ship was the 22,294 dwt (dead weight tonne) MV Theresa VIII with a final destination of Mombasa. Details of its cargo were unknown.

“Details regarding this hijacking are scant but I should reiterate the warning that when seafarers transit close to the east coast of Somalia they need to be extremely vigilant,” said Mody.

The east coast of Somalia has become a ‘hotbed’ for pirate activity recently due to anti-piracy actions by international forces in the Gulf of Aden, Mody added.

“Despite a rising number of attacks off the east coast of Somalia it is important to remember that pirate activities have been subdued," he said.

"The fact that the pirates are limited to one or two opportunities a day as opposed to 50-60 in the Gulf of Aden illustrates that the work being done by the international task force is essential,” said Mody.

The end of the monsoon season and Ramadan has meant a pick-up in pirate activity along the east coast of Africa and seafarers have been advised to stay as far away from the coast as possible, according to the IMB.

Somalia has had no central government and armed militias have often been involved in supporting piracy in what has become regarded as one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world.

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By: Dan Horlock
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