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Pirates permit medical evacuation of sick hostage

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hannibaliiA member of the crew of MV Hannibal II is the first hostage to be released by Somali pirates without the extortion of a ransom.

In the early morning of December 17, the Combined Maritime Force (CMF) joined forces with Eunavfor to evacuate the crew member from the pirated MV Hannibal II after reports were received that he had a possible appendicitis.

The MV Hannibal II was hijacked on November 11 and is currently at anchor off Garacad on the northeast Coast of Somalia.

The Tunisian master of the ship contacted the authorities on December 16, stating that he had a crew member with severe stomach pains on board and requested assistance. He also stated that he had reached an agreement with the pirates allowing the sick man to be picked up and transferred to a navy ship for treatment if a transfer could be arranged.

The CMF Thai warship TNS Pattani responded to the call together with the Eunavfor German warship FGS Hamburg. The sick crew member was transferred by Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) from the pirated vessel to the TNS Pattani before being moved to the FGS Hamburg, which had more suitable medical facilities, by helicopter.

The patient was treated by the German medical staff on board.

December 17, 2010

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