September 7, 2008
Pirates may use hijacked yacht as decoy
The Mombasa, Kenya, based Seafarers Assistance Program, says the sailing yacht Carré, d'As IV, hijacked by Somali pirates on September 3 is not off Eyl, Somalia, as previously reported.
Reports directly from Somalia apparently indicate that the owner, Jean-Yves Delanne, and his wife Bernardette Delanne were dropped at the Somali coast near Caluula at the tip of the Horn of Africa, from where part of the gang have dragged them into a hideout in the Xaabo mountains.
After the couple was taken ashore, the yacht, which according to yachtpals.com is an Amel Super Maramu, was taken to sea again by the heavily armed gunmen.
It may now be being used as a decoy, requesting assistance while shielding a pirate attack boat from view,
The pirate boats are fast and usually carries 5-7 heavily armed attackers (equipped with bazookas, AK47's rocket propelled grenade launchers and other weaponry.
The hijackers are reportedly demanding a sum in excess of $1.4 million for the French couple and the return of the 6 Somali prisoners seized by the French authorities in the Le Ponant incident.