The 13,294dwt St James Park was captured on 28 December while transiting the International Recognised Transit Corridor, said the piracy patrol force, which added that it contacted the ship after it received a distress message and was told the tanker had been seized.
The ship is now heading towards the Somali coast, Andrew Mwangura of the Seafarers’ Assistance Program in Africa, told Fairplay today. It was carrying ethyl dichlorine loaded at Assemini and Tarragona, Spain, to Tha Phut, Thailand. The cargo is used in the manufacturing of plastics and is not dangerous in normal carriage conditions.
The ship's 26 crew members are from Bulgaria, Georgia, India, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, Mwangura said. It stopped for bunkers in Jeddah on 24 December.
Meanwhile, Navios Maritime Partners said the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Navios Apollon has also been hijacked.
The ship was taken by armed men in two speedboats at about 2010 on 28 December in the Gulf of Aden, 800 miles off Somalia and 180 miles north of the Seychelles, EU NAVFOR said today.
The 52,073dwt Handymax has 19 crew members: one Greek and the rest Filipinos. It had been transporting fertilizer from Tampa to Rozi, India, the company said.
UPDATE: Report and map from here: