November 4, 2007
Pirates release two ships
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command today released a photo of the Tanzanian-flagged, Korean-owned fishing trawlers Mavuno I and Mavuno II which were released from pirate control off the east coast of Somalia Nov.4, 2007. They were pirated in May. The vessels were to rendezvous with a U.S. Navy ship, which will provide escort and humanitarian assistance to the crews.
The pirates were reportedly allowed to depart the trawlers by skiff, unharmed.
Korea's Chosun Ilbo reports the Korean Foreign Ministry as saying all 24 crewmembers of the Mavuno 1 and Mavuno 2 are safe. The boats were manned by four Koreans, 10 Chinese, three Vietnamese, four Indonesians and three Indians.
The boats, which were en route to Yemen from Mombassa, Kenya, were hijacked by Somali pirates 330 km northeast off the coast of Somali capital Mogadishu. The boats are expected to arrive in Yemen on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Chosun Ilbo reports a spokesman for the owner of a Japanese chemical tanker (the Golden Nori)r taken over by pirates off the coast of Somalia on Oct. 28 confirmed all 23 crewmembers aboard, including two Koreans, are safe. However, the Somali pirates have warned a U.S. warship to stay away from the hijacked vessel. The U.S. destroyer Porter fired missiles to sink two pirate boats when the tanker was being hijacked.
In a separate story Chosun Ilbo reports that North Korean sailors who fought off a hijacking by Somali pirates differed with their U.S. Navy helpers over the treatment of five detained pirates. The captain of the North Korean ship wanted to leave them in a rubber dinghy at sea. The U.S. Navy said that this was inhumane and asked the North Koreans to treat the five in accordance with international law at their next port of call.
"The U.S. warship informed the Malaysia-based International Maritime Bureau and a country where the North Korean ship will dock, and the North Koreans agreed and sailed on," says Chosun Ilbo. The newspaper says that, according to a source, one of the reasons the U.S. destroyer was escorting the North Korean ship was to see how the sailors will treat the pirates.(