05 October 2009

FACTBOX-Ships held by Somali pirates

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Oct 3 (Reuters) - Somali pirates hijacked a Spanish tuna fishing boat in the Indian Ocean, the regional government of the Basque Country, the Seychelles and a pirate said on Friday.

At least 134 crew members are believed to be held by Somali pirates. Here is a list of ships under their control:

WIN FAR 161: Taiwanese tuna boat, seized April 6, 2009.

ARIANA: Seized May 2, 2009. The Ariana was seized north of Madagascar en route to the Middle East from Brazil. The 24 Ukrainian crew were said to be unhurt. The ship, flying a Maltese flag, belongs to All Oceans shipping in Greece.

CHARELLE: Seized on June 12, 2009. The 2,800-tonne cargo ship carrying about nine crew, was attacked 60 miles south of Oman.

HORIZON-1: Seized on July 8, 2009. The 34,173 dwt bulk carrier, believed to be carrying sulphate, was hijacked with 23 Turkish crew aboard.

ALAKRANA: Seized on Oct. 2, 2009. The 3,716 tonne fishing vessel has a crew of 36 and a home port in the Basque Country. The Seychelles coastguard said the ship was seized 400 nautical miles northwest of Mahe. The ship was previously escaped an attempted hijack on Sept. 4.


-- Piracy attacks around the world more than doubled to 240 from 114 during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2008, the ICC International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB) said in July.

-- The rise in overall numbers is due almost entirely to increased Somali pirate activity. In the first half of 2009 attacks soared to 148 from 25 in the same period a year ago.

-- Of those 148 attacks, 31 resulted in successful hijackings by Somali pirates, including one attack off Oman's coast. In 2008, there were 111 incidents including 42 vessels hijacked in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.

-- Nearly 20,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden each year, heading to and from the Suez Canal.

Sources: Reuters/Ecoterra International/International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre/Lloyds List/Inquirer.net

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