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09 December 2023

EU navy rescues Pakistan ship left by Somali pirates

In recent months, pirates have seized several ships. (GETTY IMAGES)

By Reuters

A European Union warship rescued a Pakistan-flagged fishing vessel Somali pirates had seized last month and used to hijack another ship, EU naval force Navfor said in a statement.

Pirates hijacked MV Shahbaig 320 nautical miles east of Socotra, an island off the Horn of Africa in early December.

EU Navfor said the Shahbaig was involved in the hijacking of British-flagged vehicle carrier Asian Glory on New Year's Day and had been abandoned by pirates off the Seychelles before EU warship FS Surcouf found it.

"On January 2... the Pakistan-flagged fishing vessel... with a crew of 29, all from Pakistan, was released about 900 nautical miles north of the Seychelles," the EU Navfor force said in a statement on its website.

"The Shahbaig was boarded by crew from FS Surcouf and found all crew members to be in good health except for one member whose leg was broken," the statement by EU naval force said.

FS Surcouf offered its crew fuel, medical assistance and food to resume the journey to Pakistan. One crew member with a broken leg remained on board awaiting a transfer to hospital.

Somali pirates have made tens of millions of dollars from hijacking ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden, connecting Europe and Asia, and are preying farther into the Indian Ocean to avoid foreign navies sent to protect commercial shipping.

In recent months, pirates have seized several ships.

EU Navfor said in a separate statement that Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker M/V Pramoni – also seized on Friday – was anchored off a Somali pirate lair east of Eyl.

M/V Pramoni, a tanker of 20,000 dead weight tonnes with a crew of 24, was hijacked when heading for Kandla in India.


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