A Summary Of The Some Foreign Vessels And One Barge Currently Held In Somalia Against The Will Of Their Owners. The Ship And The Barge Collectively Have At Least 172 Seafarers Suffering At The Hands Of Their Captors. The List Excludes Ms Indian Ocean Explorer And S/Y Serenity; Both Of Which Are Presumed Sunken And Wrecks Not Identified Or Secured.
1. BARGE NN – an unnamed barge is held at Kulule (near Bendar-Beyla) since mid march. Ownership and circumstances not yet clarified.
2. S/Y JUMLA or YUMLA? – a mysterious yacht kept near Dinooda.
3. MT AGIA BARBARA: INDIAN AND SYRIAN CREW STILL WANTED FOR MURDER – vessel escaped from Somalia after the murder of a TFG policeman and the attempted murder of another to the UAE – unhindered by international naval forces. See our respective updates.
Cases in negotiations:
4. FV WIN FAR 161 – The Taiwanese fishing vessel was seized April 6, 2009 near the Seychelles. Said to have been observed earlier to fish illegally in Somali waters. It had after the sea-jacking been involved in the attack on MV ALABAMA and is now still moored about 7 nm from Garacad at the north-eastern Indian Ocean coast. The crew of 30 (17 Filipinos, six Indonesians, five Chinese and two Taiwanese) is still together and on board, but in awful condition. The ship’s skipper and first engineer are Taiwanese nationals and the 700-ton long-liner is owned by a Taiwanese company, which regularly sent their vessels into Somali waters from the Seychelles – a key transshipment point for poached tuna from the Indian Ocean to Japan. The Government of the Philippines seems to be pretty helpless to even find the manning agency, who lured the 17 Pinoy sailors into the fish-poaching operation.
5. MV ARIANA: Seized May 2, 2009. The Ariana was seized north of Madagascar en route to the Middle East from Brazil with 10,000 tonnes of soy-beans. The 24-strong all-Ukrainian crew has run low in food and water. The ship, flying a Maltese flag, belongs to All Oceans shipping in Greece, who fronts for a British conglomerate. So far the shipping company has not responded to calls for urgently required medical attention. Two female sailors are on board, one of them in serious condition. The vessel received some fuel from MV KOTA WAJAR and is at the moment held close to it north of Hobyo. The Ukrainian Human Rights ombudswoman had appealed to her European counterpart in order to achieve immediate relief to the suffering of the crew members, who have run out of food and clean water. Promises by the Ukrainian government to facilitate the offered evacuation of two female sailors, one of whom was in a life-threatening medical condition and still would require to be flown out, were broken. The vessel and crew are held near Hobyo at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast.
6. MV CHARELLE: Seized on June 12, 2009. The relatively small 2,800-tonne general cargo ship carrying mostly empty containers was captured 60 miles south of Oman. The Antigua and Barbuda flagged vessel is owned by shipping firm Tarmstedt International and operated from New Zealand. Seven of the 10 member crew are Sri Lankans, 3 are Filipinos. The company lost a substandard vessel the MV GLOBAL ISLAND during the Tsunami at the turn of the year 2004/2005, because it had – after being ordered to not leave the safety of the harbour – made its way out of Mombasa harbour. The vessel then sunk in rough Somali waters and became an insurance case. The German captain and a Kenyan went missing while about 10 other crew were rescued by the US navy. The New Zealand shipping company, who owns the vessel, confirmed that negotiations for the release of MV CHARELLE had broken down, because the sea-shifta did not honour the reached agreement and negotiations had to start all over again. Vessel and crew are held near Hobyo at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast.
7. FV ALAKRANA: Seized on Oct. 2, 2009. The 3,716-tonne EU financed, Basque owned and usually Spanish-flagged fishing vessel with a crew of 36 and a home port in the Spanish Basque Country was re-flagged to fly the flag of the Seychelles during her fishing venture in the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles coastguard said the ship was seized 400 nautical miles north-west of Mahe. The vessel had previously escaped an attempted hijack on Sept. 4. Of the 36 seafarers on board 16 are Spaniards, 8 Indonesian, 4 from Ghana, 3 from Senegal, 2 from Ivory Coast, 2 from Madagascoar and one from the Seychelles. Two Somalis, who left the vessel at the Somali coast were attacked, one wounded and both arrested in the 12 miles zone of Somalia by Spanish naval forces and extradited to Spain, where they stand trial. The Somali captors demand that the two illegally extradited Somalis first have to be brought back to Somalia before any negotiation for the release of vessel and crew can start in earnest. Vessel and crew are held near Haradheere at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast.
8. MV KOTA WAJAR: Seized on Oct. 15, 2009. The 24,637-tonne container ship, seized 300 nautical miles north of Seychelles, was heading for the Kenyan port of Mombasa from Singapore. The multinational 21 men crew on board, of which two are Singaporean and 4 Indian, comprises also of natrionals from Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka and Ghana. The vessel and crew held near Hobyo at the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast.
9. MV DE XIN HAI: Seized on Oct. 19, 2009. The Chinese bulk carrier with 25 Chinese sailors was en route from South Africa to carries about 76,000 tonnes of coal and there were 25 Chinese crew aboard when it was hijacked in the Indian Ocean 550 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the east coast of Somalia. The vessel is owned by the Qingdao Ocean Shipping Co. and has sufficient food, water and fuel.
10. MV AL KHALIQ: Seized on Oct. 22, 2009. The Panamanian-flagged 22,000 dwt handy bulker MV AL KHALIQ was abducted around180 miles west of the Seychelles. The crew consists of 24 Indian sailors and two Burmese nationals. EU NAVFOR patrol aircraft confirmed the hijacking, with 6 pirates seen on board and two skiffs in tow. A third pirate boat, the ‘mother ship’ had apparently already been lifted onto the ship’s deck.
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