April 8, 2009
Pirates seize U.S.-flag ship
Maersk Group has issued the following statement:
This morning, at around 05.00 UTC, Maersk Alabama, a 1,100 TEU container vessel, was attacked by pirates and presumed hijacked. The U.S. flagged vessel has a crew of 20 U.S. nationals and is owned and operated by Maersk Line, Limited in the U.S.
The vessel is deployed in Maersk Line's East Africa service network and was enroute to Mombasa, when it was attacked approximately 500 kilometers off the Somalia coast. Our initial concern is to ensure proper support of the crew and assistance to their families.
At this point in time we do not have any further information.
Maersk Line, Limited is an American company, based in Norfolk, Va., is a business within the Copenhagen, Denmark, headquartered A.P. Moller--Maersk Group. Its crews are members of the SIU (Seafarers International Union).
This is not the first A.P. Moller--Maersk Group vessel to be hijacked. In March last year the Svitzer-owned ice class tug Svitzer Korsakov was released by Somali pirates after being held for more than one month. The ransom paid in that incident was reported as being $700,000.