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March 19, 2009

Pirates hijack Greek-owned bulker

News agencies report the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine as saying that Somali pirates today hijacked the Greek Greek-owned, Saint Vincent flagged bulk carrier Titan in the Gulf of Aden.

The ship, with a cargo of iron, was sailing from the Black Sea to Korea with a crew of 24, three of whom are Greek.

The Titan is currently heading for the Somali coast.

The Equasis data base shows a 24,843 gt, Saint Vincent flagged vessel named Titan as being managed by Piraeus-headquartered Albamar Shipping. The Equasis data base shows this ship to have a less than stellar port state control record. Though no deficiencies were found in its most recent port state inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans last April, in January this year it was detained in Barcelona, Spain, for three days with multiple deficiencies. Now it looks likely to face a much more unpleasant detention.

Up until today's incident the most recent successful hijack was that of MV SALDANHA on February 22. The seizure of the Titan brings the current total number of hijacked vessels in the region to seven.


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