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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Somali Pirates: Release of Taiwanese Fishing Vessel and 3 Dead Crew

Ah, the pirates of Somalia - innocently protecting their fishing grounds from a vessel they captured in the EEZ waters of the Seychelles (see also here).Note that this first report appears to be wrong in that 3 crew of the vessel are now reported to be dead

M/V WIN FAR 161 that has been anchored off the Somali coast in the vicinity of Harardheere for almost 10 months has finally been released. The pirates vacated the vessel on the evening of 11 Feb and the master has taken command once more.

The Taiwanese fishing vessel WIN FAR 161 was hijacked on 6th April 2009 from the Somali Basin, approximately 160Nm north of the Seychelles. The vessel had been operating outside the EU NAVFOR Area of Operation (AOR) and as such its movements were not registered with the MSCHOA. It is understood from the owner that all 28 crew members are well and were released with food, fuel and water. The ship is now heading out to sea and is being monitored by EU NAVFOR.
A later here:
Ecoterra, a Kenya-based agency that monitors shipping in Somali waters, said three of the boat's original crew of 30 had died during their captivity.

"The three died of malnutrition, disease and neglect over the course of the last month," Ecoterra said.

UPDATE: Taiwan sources assert all 30 crew members alive. See here

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