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Friday, February 06, 2009

USNS Catawba Offers Up Water and Food to Ship Released by Somali Pirates

Rendering aid to fellow sailors, as reported here:
Sailors from the Norfolk-based destroyer, USS Mason (DDG 87), went aboard Faina to conduct a health and comfort inspection of the crew as well as provide Faina's crew with food, water and medical support. The U.S. Navy fleet ocean tug USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168) also provided fuel and fresh water to the merchant vessel.
Faina is currently anchored off the coast of Somalia, near Hobyo, and is making engineering preparations to get underway.

Somali pirates released the Motor Vessel Faina after holding it for more than four months. The U.S. Navy has remained within visual range of the ship and maintained a 24-hour, 7-days a week presence since it was captured.

Motor Vessel Faina was attacked off the coast of Somalia Sept. 25. The roll-on/roll-off ship is Belize flagged and operated by "Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine."

While the ship initially had had a crew of 21, the ship's captain reportedly suffered a heart-attack shortly after being taken hostage. The pirates refused all requests to turn over the captain's remains. The ship's remaining crew includes 17 Ukrainian citizens, as well as two Russians and one Latvian.
Photo caption:
The U.S. Navy fleet ocean tug USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168) provides fuel and fresh water to Motor Vessel Faina following its release by Somali pirates Feb. 5, after holding it for more than four months. The U.S. Navy has remained within visual range of the ship and maintained a 24-hour, 7-days a week presence since it was captured. The Belize-flagged cargo ship is owned and operated by "Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine" and is carrying a cargo of Ukrainian T-72 tanks and related equipment. The ship was attacked on Sept. 25 and forced to proceed to anchorage off the Somali Coast. U.S. 5th Fleet conducts maritime security operations to promote stability and regional economic prosperity. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael R. McCormick/Released)
UPDATE: Photo of ransom being dropped, arrows point to parachuted money:
Ransom money is dropped in the vicinity of the MV Faina off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo while under observation by a U.S. Navy ship. Pirates did not actually leave the ship until Feb. 5, more than 24 hours after this photo was taken. The Belize-flagged cargo ship is operated by Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine and is carrying a cargo of Ukranian T-72 tanks and related equipment. The ship was attacked Sept. 25, 2008 by pirates and forced to proceed to anchorage off the Somali Coast. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael R. McCormick/Released)

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