Somali pirates struck again last week when they seized the Greek bulk ship TITAN (24,843-gt, 43,214-DWT, built 1983) which was sailing in a security corridor but without escort. The ship, which is managed by Albamar Shipping flies the St Vincent & Grenadines flag and was en route from Sevastopol to Busan in South Korea with a cargo of steel. She has a crew of 24 on board, made up mostly of Filipinos although there are other nationalities on board including a Greek master.
The ship was taken by six pirates armed with AK47 automatic rifles and pistols who used a speedboat to gain access to the ship. Titan is reported to be on the way to a Somali anchorage.
Meanwhile the US Navy reports that the guided missile cruise USS GETTYSBURG (CG 64) has captured six suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden after responding to a distress signal from two merchant ships.
One of the ships, the Philippines-registered BISON EXPRESS issued a call for help after coming under attack from a skiff manned by six heavily-armed pirates. The US ships closed in on the location and dispatched a SH-60B helicopter on patrol, which overflow the skiff and observed the men on board hastily throwing objects overboard. The US warship later apprehended the skiff and took the men into custody but released them on account of having no evidence of arms or weapons or other equipment used in acts of piracy.
A second attack involved the motor vessel SEA GREEN which fired several flares at an approaching suspected pirate boat and managed to ward of the attack.