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October 22, 2009

Pirates seize another bulker

Pirates have hijacked a Panamanian flag bulker managed by SNP Shipping Services, Mumbai, while the Italian flag RO/RO Jolly Rosso has managed to evade capture.

EU NAVFOR reports that on the early morning of October 22nd 2009, 400 nautical miles east of Mombasa, Kenya, pirates attempted to hijack MV Jolly Rosso. Almost at the same time, MV Al Khaliq, a Panama flagged bulk carrier reported being under attack 180 nautical miles west of the Seychelles.

MV Jolly Rosso, an Italian flagged Ro-Ro Cargo ship (200 m and 31,000 tons) was attacked by two small skiffs. The pirates opened fire with automatic fire and also fired three rocket propelled grenades at the ship. The ship took appropriate evasive action, managed to evade the attack and is proceeding on her voyage. There were no casualties.

Belgian EU NAVFOR warship BNS Louise Marie was ordered immediately to close and neutralize the pirate attack position in cooperation with NATO's USS Donald Cook of CTF 508. An EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft based in Seychelles has also been tasked to investigate the area in support of both ships.

Almost at the same time, MV Al Khaliq, a Panama flagged bulk carrier (180m and 22,000 tons) reported being under attack 180 nautical miles west of the Seychelles. In the last contact with the vessel it was said that two pirates were on board trying to access the accommodation.

On indication of the attack the second EU NAVFOR maritime patrol aircraft, operating from the Seychelles, was tasked to confirm the situation of the vessel and search for other pirate activity in the vicinity. A ship of the Seychelles Coast Guard is also proceeding to the attack position. The EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraftconfirmed "the hijack of MV Al Khaliq, 6 pirates on board and two attack skiffs in tow. The mother skiff has already been taken on board with a crane."

EU NAVFOR says the hijacked COSCO Quingdao bulk carrier the DE XIN HAI is confirmed to have arrived off the coast of Somalia and is now in the vicinity of Hobyo. It is not yet known if the pirates have contacted the owners and made their demands known.


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