Night ops

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Released by pirates, but not home free yet

Remember the UAE ship released by Somali pirates after payment of a ransom? Bad weather is holding them up from returning to the UAE as reported here.
The Al Taj, captained by Captain Mohammed Noor, has a total crew of 11, all natives of the North Indian State of Gujarat.

The ship was hijacked on April 27 as it made it's way to Kiyasu after unloading part of a general load belonging to consortium of 20 businessmen in Ailmun port area in Somalia. The total value of the cargo is estimated to be 5 million Dhs.

Shial, who runs the Mustak Essa Trading Company, also gave the first details about the crewman who was killed when the ship was attacked by pirates in Somalia's lawless coastal waters.

The dead crewman was named as Juma Othman, 32, who was buried at sea following a funeral held onboard the ship. Two other crew members, Noor Mohammed Osman and Albesh Vrijalal, earlier reported as being injured by pirates, are in fact seriously ill due to malnutrition.
This will be a voyage to remember...

And, speaking of memories, the article notes that the crew (mostly Filipinos) of the also captured tanker Lin 1 has reportedly been moved of the ship and inland and the crew of the Julia54 is still being held after their December capture:
MV Al Taj is not the only UAE vessel hijacked by Somali pirates. The Panamanian flagged and UAE owned Lin 1 was hijacked on 29 March after unloading its cargo of diesel at the port of El Adel, 150 km north of Mogadishu. The ship was later taken a further 250 km to Harardheere with its crew of 19 Filipinos. A Somali negotiator thought to be trying to secure the crew's release was reported killed in the coastal town of Gann on 15 April.

The Lin 1's crew are apparently safe, they been moved to the mainland, somewhere in the region of South Galkayo. The self styled 'Somali Marine' pirates still hold both crew and ship, but have so far issued no requests for ransom

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