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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Somali Pirates: Norwegian Ship Fends Off Attack -Pirates Captured

Reported here:
The tanker Front Voyager was sailing through the gulf Saturday morning when alert crew spotted a speed boat closing in on the vessel.

The pirates on board the speedboat, believed to be from Somalia, came up alongside the large tanker and attempted to board while firing between 10 and 15 shots, according to reports from the scene.

"Fortunately no one (on board the vessel) was hit," said Dag Christoffersen of V Ships Norway, which manages the vessel.

The crew of the Front Voyager, trained to fend off pirates, contacted the Danish naval vessel Absalon stationed in the area to fight a wave of piracy in the gulf. The Danish ship sent an armed helicopter to the Front Voyager while the tanker's crew used water canons to keep the pirates from scrambling up the sides of the ship.
The helicopter arrived, the pirates were eventually captured and taken to an American battleship also stationed nearby.
More info here:
None of the 23 crew members were hurt, but the IMB reported that the vessel sustained some damage. The 155,127dwt, Bahamas-flagged Front Voyager is owned by Independent Tankers Corp, a wholly owned subsidiary of Frontline. It had been chartered by Unipec to carry a cargo of crude from Libya to China, according to Sea-web.
Armed raiders also tried to attack a Chinese cargo ship, a Singaporean LNG carrier and a Thai bulk carrier over the weekend, according to CNN. All managed to evade hijackings.
The Chinese vessel also reported a blue-hulled mothership as the originator of the attack, suspected to be a tug captured earlier this year.
V Ship photos. More on Front Voyager's ownership here. More on V Ships Norway here. And on parent V Ships here. From which comes:
The short range approach area of the ship is watched by an optical camera and a nearby infrared illuminator. The camera and illuminator are steered automatically toward a target detected by the long range device. This system can be programmed to trigger the ship’s response mechanisms, typically either be LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) or a water cannon.

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