Somali pirates are feared to have hijacked another ship with its 10-man crew and cargo of mainly foodstuff in the latest of string of hijackings off lawless Somalia, seafarers said Tuesday.BBC report here.
Kenyan Seafarers Assistance Program Coordinator Andrew Mwangura said the vessel, MV Torgelow, was hijacked near El Maan port in Somalia, the same area where eight Kenyans abducted in another ship three months ago were released last week.
Mwangura said MV Torgelow, which belongs Kenya-based Motaku Shipping Agency, the same company that owns the recently released MV Semlow, was carrying general cargo belonging to Somali businessmen.
The captain is Sri Lankan and the other nine seamen all Kenyans.
"The ship was carrying oil, foodstuff and water, which were to be given to the recently released Kenyans, who are still at El Maan port waiting for MV Semlow to be discharged before coming home," he said by telephone.
He said in addition, the Torgelow was carrying a consignment for Somali businessmen, of foodstuffs such as spaghetti, coffee and cooking oil.
The ship's owner said Torgelow vessel was seized off the southern coast on its way from Kenya's Mombasa port to the Somali port of El Maan.
"I have no idea if it was the same pirates or different ones. I'm not even sure it's our vessel, but it looks like it. We lost radio contact on Saturday morning, so were waiting for it to arrive at El Maan, but it didn't," Inayet Kudrati, the boss of theMotaku Shipping Agency, reportedly said.
He said despite being freed, the MV Semlow, chartered by the UNWorld Food Program to carry UN aid, has still not been able to off-load its cargo of 850 tons of rice in El Maan, preventing the return of its exhausted 10-man crew to Mombasa.
Kudrati said his shipping agency runs about two voyages a monthto Somalia mainly taking foreign-donated aid, but would now consider pulling out of the route.
"I think we have to withdraw. There are so many cases of attacks and no one is around patrolling these waters," he said.
Good grief! Has no one thought of providing escorts?
By the way: STAY AWAY FROM SOMALIA!