The German Federal Police is warning that strong rooms or "citadels" may not provide absolute protection for crews against Somali pirates, reports North German broadcaster NDR.
The warning comes as more facts emerge about a failed attempt last Wednesday to rescue the crew of the Beluga Nomination, which was hijacked January 24.
According to the NDR report, after the crew had been barricaded in a strong room for two and a half days, the pirates managed to cut their way into it using welding equipment and took the 12 crew members hostage.
The rescue attempt reportedly involved a Seychelles patrol craft and a Danish frigate and resulted in at least two deaths and left two members of the Beluga Nomination crew missing.
One pirate was shot by the would be rescuers. The pirates then reportedly shot and killed the boatswain of the Beluga Nomination in revenge.
In the confusion during the shooting, the Second Officer got in a lifeboat and launched it while three other crew members jumped overboard, according to the Weser Kurier newspaper. Two crew members were then rescued from the lifeboat by the Danish warship.
Niels Stolberg, head of the Bremen based Beluga Group spoke to the newspaper Sunday and was sharply critical of naval forces for not responding earlier.
Mr. Stolberg, according to some reports, first learned of the rescue attempt from a NATO press release, dated January 28, that said only that two men had been rescued from the lifeboat.
The shipowner told the Weser Kurier that information flow from the naval forces was "a disaster."
The Beluga Nomination was last reported headed for the Somali coast with the seven remaining crew members held hostage.
January 31, 2011