April 21, 2008
Spain sends frigate to aid hijacked tuna vessel
Spain has sent the frigate Mendez Nunez to Somali waters where a Spanish tuna fishing vessel, the Playa de Bakio, has been hijacked.
The vessel, with a crew of 24 aboard, was seized about 400 kilometers off the coast of Somalia on Saturday.
The crew is reportedly unharmed. The frigate will take up to 48 hours to reach the scene and Spain has asked other NATO members for assistance.
The Spanish Government has set up a unit headed by Defense Chief of Staff Felix Sanz Roldan to take the necessary measures to secure the release of the crew, who are being held for ransom.
In a separate incident, Japan's NYK says that "at aboutAround 10:10 a.m. Japan time (4:10 a.m. local time) on April 21, 2008, a small unidentified boat approached the NYK VLCC Takayama about 440 kilometers east of the Yemeni city of Aden and fired some form of munition. According to a report from Takayama, the unidentified boat sped away at 11:03 and has not been seen since."
No injuries were reported. Navigation remains unaffected, and possible damage to the tanker is still being investigated.
Takayama was on a ballast voyage to Yamboo in Saudi Arabia from Ulsan, Korea from which the tanker departed at 2:40 a.m. on April 4.