Captain of chemical tanker seized by Somali pirates dies - IMB

18 November 2009 16:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The captain of a chemical tanker that was hijacked by pirates in the south Somali basin of the Indian Ocean on 16 November has died from the injuries he sustained during the attack, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Wednesday.

The captain of the chemical tanker MV Theresa VIII died on the night of 17 November from gunshot wounds suffered during the attack by Somali pirates, the IMB said.

The tanker was expected to arrive in Haradheere, Somalia, with the captain’s body onboard, according to reports that quoted one of the pirates.

“We have heard these reports and it highlights the dangers that can be involved when encountering pirates off the coast of Somalia,” said IMB spokesperson Pottengal Mukundan.

The contents of the tanker’s cargo were not known.

An IMB official earlier confirmed that the 22,294-deadweight-tonne tanker’s final destination was Mombasa, Kenya.

Mukundan confirmed that pirate activity off the east coast of Somalia has become more prevalent due to the transit corridor operating in the Gulf of Aden.

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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